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October 31, 2014 2:37 pm

Jewish Members of UK House of Lords Rise to Israel’s Defense

avatar by Ben Cohen

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"The Islamists also know that the only way they can win the sympathy of the West is by demonizing Israel," former chief rabbi Lord Sacks told the House of Lords. Photo: Coopernial

Jewish peers in Britain’s upper legislative chamber, the House of Lords, last night engaged in robust defense of Israel during a four-and-a-half hour debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi, told the chamber, “at the outset I declare an interest. I am a Jew. Israel is therefore for me the place where my people were born almost four thousand years ago, the place to which Abraham and Sarah travelled, where Amos voiced his vision of social justice and Isaiah dreamed of a world at peace, where David composed the Psalms and Solomon built the Temple – and this had consequences not only for Jews but also for Christians and Muslims, who claim Abraham as their ancestor in faith, and whose God they take as their own.”

Later on in his speech, Sacks declared: “The Islamists also know that the only way they can win the sympathy of the West is by demonizing Israel. They know you can’t win support for ISIS, Boko Haram or Islamic Jihad, but if you can blame Israel you will gain the support of academics, unions and the media and you will distract attention from the massacres in Syria and Iraq, the slow descent of other countries into chaos, and the ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the region.”

Another Jewish peer, Lord Mitchell, frankly told the Lords: “Around the world, atrocities are being committed and we all wring our hands and do precious little, but when Israel alone defends herself, everybody goes ballistic. At best it can be called hypocrisy, and at worst it is called something else.”

Mitchell added that he agreed with iconic British Jewish actress Maureen Lipman “when she says Labour and [party leader] Ed Miliband have got it wrong.” As The Algemeiner reported yesterday, in an article for the current issue of Standpoint magazine, Lipman, who had a starring role in Roman Polanski’s 2002 film about the Holocaust, The Pianist, excoriated Miliband for his support for British recognition of a Palestinian state independently of any negotiations with Israel.

“I certainly support a Palestinian state, but not quite yet,” Lord Mitchell said. “It must be negotiated with both the Palestinians and Israel.”

Pro-Palestinian peers also made their voices heard. Baroness Warsi, a Muslim peer who resigned from the government in August over its response to the Gaza conflict, said Britain could no longer be considered an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

She questioned Britain’s response to Israeli settlement building and the humanitarian situation in Gaza and again said the government’s stance was “morally indefensible”.

“It is not in Britain’s national interests and it will have a long-term detrimental impact on our reputation, internationally and domestically. It is time for us to start to be on the right side of history,” she concluded.

Even stronger opprobrium towards Israel was expressed by Baroness Jenny Tonge, who has a long record of inflammatory statements against both Israel and its Jewish supporters abroad. “The propaganda coming out of the Israeli embassy now is to concentrate on Hamas, the so-called terrorists who of course many people in the Middle East see as freedom fighters – we must remember that,” Tonge, who has been nicknamed “Jihad Jenny” in some quarters, told the House.

Tonge claimed that the recent Islamist terrorist attack in Ottawa was Israel’s fault. “It is no surprise either that a recent incident in Canada, and an exposed terrorist plot in Australia, have followed attacks in our country and the USA,” she said. “Both of these countries have unhesitatingly supported Israel with the USA and the United Kingdom.”

Commenting on Tonge’s remarks, popular British blogger Guido Fawkes wryly observed: “If the pro-Israeli conspiracy is so all-powerful, how come parliament voted to support Palestinian statehood earlier this month?”

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  • Roo olivia

    Such a shame , as always religiously motivated posts with the obligatory pointed finger. I think it is very difficult for anyone to speak out in any way against the actions of Israel. Everybody’s freedom of speech or expression is shut down or ridiculed. Is this 21st century politics in the UK right now? Obviously it is.

  • HaroldT

    Why do they not have the guts to call Miliband the Quisling Jew he is ?

  • If Hamas,happily throwing members of Fatah off high roofs, and publically shooting hooded victims in the streets of Gaza, on the grounds they are traitors (no trial or evidence) are ‘freedom fighters,suggested by Baroness Tonge, then I shudder to think what would happen in Gaza if they were really terrorists.

  • Seriously are all these people Nudnicks ! All this smoke and mirrors, the obfuscation of what is truly at the bottom of all the yentas wringing their hands as the focus stays on Isreal and off of the Worlds worst nightmare, Iran with a nuclear capability !
    So talk discuss and debate some more, when we awake from this cloud of misdirection, with another “Iranian Nuclear Power”, it will be as we were during the 30’s !
    It’s debatable if Hitler will come to power, so who would listen to a madman !
    Don’t worry my dears, we will soon have Jam and Bread at the new work camp !
    Wake up !
    England and France are already occupied by standing muslim army’s numbering in the millions !

  • Kris

    The British House of Lords is full of idiots who support all forms of terrorism if it is against Israel and Jews.

    Good for Lord Jonathan Sacks and the other Jewish Lords.

    But comments by some Lords and Dames, shows what a bunch of hypocrites Britain is.

    Hamas fighters are “freedom fighters” Israel and the IDF are the terrorists.

    Hamas only wants to destroy Israel and murder every Jew all over the world. Those are freedom fighters.

    Israel attacked those “freedom fighters” for no reason,..
    After all, Hamas was shooting harmless toy rockets into Israel. The Israelis hid in shelters because they are cowards.

    Well, I have news for those who support Islamic terrorism against the Jewish state.

    Some years ago, London experienced attacks on buses and the subway.
    Britain called those “terrorist attacks.”
    Sorry to inform you. Those attacks were done by FREEDOM FIGHTERS

  • Zoe

    The history is repeated.
    But the Jews managed to survive and thrive.
    Jews returned to their land after 2.300 years of persecution.

    Israel is there to stay. As for all the so called democratic countries. We know very well that they are selling their soul to crude oil.

  • Baroness Jenny Tonge is the woman who claimed that Magen David Adom was only in Haiti so the Israelis could harvest body parts for transplants in Israel! She is the most vicious antisemite and her party rewarded her by raising her to the peerage! Warsi is another antisemite, the worst Muslim antisemites in the UK are, like her, of Pakistani origin, people whose homeland is thousands of miles from Israel and who know absolutely nothing about the country. All the British political parties are so keen to court the Muslim vote that they allow the Muslims to voice extreme antisemitism. Ed Milliband is the worst, because he is a Jew, he bends over backwards to slavishly pander to their prejudice. And this is a man who has family in Israel!

    • Shirley Hiller

      Jihad Jenny Tonge the would be suicide bomber, better not go past a butchers as her long tongue will soon be pickled and put on show in their window. Bet it would stink just like her comments.

  • I realise that the West is being conned by Hamas and its ally’s with the way they are successfully demonising Israel. Problem is that Israel makes it very difficult for sympathisers to speak out and support them when they continue to build on occupied territory and exacerbate the situation.


    Lord Sacks is an excellent spokesman. It’s nice to hear something positive come out of Parliament.

  • Of all people, the British parliamentarians only have to walk to the Foreign Office next door and study their extensive Archives.

    They will find everything they need to know about the iron-clad, internationally recognized rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and the shameful policies the British adopted during the Mandate period (1920-1948).

    Once they have gone through this exercise, they will probably realize that one cannot be pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian at the same time (based on how the “Palestinians” define themselves), and they should take an unequivocal stand.

  • Rick

    How do you negotiate with the Palestinians when they openly say they want to destroy Israel? Negotiations will never change the Palestinians hatred toward the Jewish people.

    I say God Bless Israel. I stand by the Jewish people!

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    This is another example of Anglo Saxon elitism shining a spotlight on its rudementary anti semitism,

  • Fred

    Jihad Jenny is being feted by the Emir if Qatar with gift & holidays to raise the Arab flag.

  • Julian Clovelley

    I don’t think a very clear picture of this important debate in the House of Lords can come from cherry picking particular speeches so I think it is worth publishing the URL of the full official account of proceedings as currently published:

    The debate begins at 1210pm with Lord Sachs speech being at 1:05pm

    In his speech I find a contradiction that is worth examining. Two quotes therefore:

    “When ancient theologies are used for modern political ends, they speak a very dangerous language indeed…”

    “Every religion must wrestle with its dark angels, and so today must we: Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. For we are all children of Abraham, and only when we make space for one another as brothers and sisters will we redeem the world from darkness and walk together in the light of God.”

    At first sight both statements look good, but there is a problem, and Lord Sachs speech brings this contradiction out. Somehow he seems to portray that the abuse of ancient theologies is on the part of the Islamic extremists alone. He seems to suggest that whilst Islamists are abusing their theology to justify conflict against Israel – a criticism in which I agree with the noble Lord – Israel is merely acting in accordance with its history, and its destiny.

    Lord Sachs plays the card of Jewish Genealogical mythology – the belief in exclusive physical descent and inheritance. He says ” I am a Jew. Israel is therefore for me the place where my people were born almost 4,000 years ago” – what people? – Through intermarriage, assimilation and conversion we are all descended from the same ancestors – Gentile and Jew – No-one has an exclusive pure descent. There is no Jewish gene. This exclusive Genealogical claim too is theology, and it too is one of “the ancient theologies used for political ends” it too is used to “speak a very dangerous language indeed” – and let us have the courage to name it – it is the core of a racially and theologically excused and defined land grab. Theology has been abused to turn a UN Partition resolution into a disputed theological entity, and that is creating untold confusion and suffering. Both sides are guilty of this same crime against reason.

    Lord Sachs in his speech also shows the contradiction in his own concept of “common descent”. For in his concept whilst he describes “Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. For we are all children of Abraham” his theology makes a differentiation, for the Jews become the seed of Abraham by descent, and the rest are people “who claim Abraham as their ancestor in faith”

    The contradiction matters because the noble Lord’s speech is couched in terms of Israel as the Jews “ancestral home”. Lord Sachs is abusing theology every bit as much as anyone else to promote the nineteenth century Zionist view. No negotiation can successfully take place unless all parties come to the table with clean hands and that means – as Sachs I think is pointing out but in a contradictory manner – without the baggage of an abused theology

    I fear he needs to read his own speech carefully to see what that means in relation to his own position. For in many ways he seems to display the core contradiction that theologically underlies the whole mess in the Middle East. BOTH sides are abusing theology to justify territorial claims – and NEITHER are historically correct. I fear there will be no peace until this contradiction is dealt with. I have little present hope that it will be in time to prevent a catastrophe, and that draws my attention to a particular speaker. At a cursory reading of parts of the debate I would cherry pick Lord Desai’s words at 1:57:

    “My own view is a very pessimistic one. I do not think there will ever be a two-state solution. I do not think the two-state solution was ever the best thing to do. I remember in Labour Party discussions back in the 1970s, we thought a single multi-faith state was the only solution to the Palestine-Israel problem and that is not going to happen. The single multi-faith state is not going to happen; the two-state solution is not going to happen; there is going to be occupation; there will be things built on occupied territory; and there will be a continual war. It is somewhat like Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films, in which two sides fight and fight until they have both destroyed each other— and that is when peace prevails. Maybe I am being too pessimistic but, realistically, after all these years, I do not see why it should be solved.”

    The first step to proving this pessimism wrong is to restore a real history to both sides in the conflict – to do what Lord Sachs seems to suggest, but fails to do – push inaccurate and abused theologies out of the damn road to peace.

    The alternative is Lord Desai’s nightmare scenario – to live forever in a state of war granting little more than violence and suffering as an inheritance to the children of the Middle East – spreading terrorism and destruction worldwide in pursuit of the unattainable – the validation of a group of archaic and historically hopelessly inaccurate myths.


  • Moshe

    UK You are trying to lower the tension with you Muslims by hurting Israel. Wait until the 50% Student children in your schools who are Muslims and are being Brainwashed today, will be adults in 15 years.
    UK you will be destroyed.

  • Sacks says that Islamists know you can’t win support for ISIS, Boko Haram, or Islamic Jihad. On the other hand, Feminists, gay-rights activists, and leftists in general have not made an issue of ISIS, Boko Haram, and Islamic Jihad. They are afraid that if they did so, it might make Israel look less bad.

  • Rachel

    Were the Jewish peers the only supporters of Israel? Sad indictment on the rest of them. Where did their support lie? And how can there be a Moslem lord of England? I’m totally flummoxed. Thank u Guido Fawkes (presumably a non Jew?) for saying it how it is.

    • June Grant

      As there are Jewish peers, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be Muslim peers.
      The evil duo of Tonge and Warsi have long histories of hatred for Israel which they freely express whenever the chance arises, as do the likes of Galloway, Kaufman and a host of others.

    • Kris

      Please don’t be surprised that there are Muslim Lords,
      After all, Britain has Imported millions of Muslims.
      Now those Muslims demand sharia law, and the last Archbishop of Canterbury agreed that sharia law should be introduced into Britain.

      do you not realise that with in 10 years, Britain will have a majority Muslim parliament, and Prime Minister

      End of the British Royal Family.

      Buckingham Palace will probably have a new king imported from ISIS after the present royal family are all beheaded.

      Good luck to those Brits who voted for a Palestinian terrorist state which they hope will not live alongside Israel, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel, but that the new Palestinian terrorist state will destroy Israel. End of story

  • Elliott

    Brit anti-Semitism. Yawn. So, what else is new?

  • HILLARY = OBAM 3, and 4


    . Where is our President Obama as our foreign policy has turned into a complete disaster.

    Video is on

    Another holocaust is possible. If it happened once it can happen again. Thank G-d we have Israel. We need to do everything possible to keep Israel militarily strong. Jews get out of Europe. There can be no compromise regarding Israel nor can we depend on the good will of others. This unfortunately is a lesson that many Jews have never learned. Never forget, never forgive never again. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • judithg

    what woke them up from their stupor? although,they’ll be back to sleep shortly. that is until the next two hundred global issues are solved by a screaming moron-mob loudly proclaiming “it’s all the fault of the choos”.

  • Bullfrog

    ‘Jihad Jenny’, Warsi sound like names which rhyme with Hitler. ‘Anti semites’.

    Guido Fawkes hits the nail on the head, ‘there’s no conspiracy’ with such a pro vote on a Palestinian state.

    Sad fact remains, 2000 year old anti semitism remains widespread.

    • maria

      Yes, but we have to fight the antisemitism and support Israel

      • Dr.M.Otero

        I wonder if that’s a part of being the chosen people: chosen to be the first and alone particularly when we are chosen to be the forewarning canary in the coal mines.

    • Doc Smith

      two thousand years? the author of evil has been
      around longer than that.he will continue to stir
      the cauldron of hate…for every nation, people
      and tounge until he is wrapped in chains at the
      word of God and cast into gehena for at first, one
      thousand years…then for eternity!

  • British restrictions and blockade on Jewish immigration to Palestine 1938-1948 caused the death of over 2 million Jews trying to escape German extermination camps.

    The British in 1922 gave away in violation of the Mandate 77% of the land in Palestine allocated for the Jewish people to the Arabs as the State named Jordan of which 80% of the population is Arab-Palestinians. This is the Palestinian State and no other.
    British actions in Palestine during the Mandate 1918-1948 are the cause of the continued violence and terrorism in the Middle East. The British wanted to control the oil in the Middle East and they were willing and did cross anyone to accomplish their goals. In today’s time in history, nothing has changed.
    In less than 20 years England and the rest of Europe will be controlled by Muslims with Sharia laws in place.

    Prohibiting Jews for residing anywhere where the map of Mandate for Palestine territory of 1920 is a violation of International Law and the San Remo Treaty which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1920.

    Any housing, factories, goods and services produced by Jews in the area that was designated as the Mandate for Palestine is granted by the International agreements and treaties of the 1918-1920, which are in affect for perpetuity.

    Israel’s 2nd war of liberation of 1967 debunking the notion that Israel is an occupier

    YJ Draiman