In a speech before the House of Lords on Feb. 27, a member of Britain’s Parliament (MP) called Israel the “puppet master” behind the United States’ foreign policy.
The MP, Jenny Tonge, was discussing the need for Britain to have full autonomy over its foreign policy.
“Can the [Prime] Minister [Boris Johnson] assure us that we will do just that and not allow our country to fall under the shadow of the United States of America and its puppet master, Israel?” Tonge asked.
Baroness Tonge – who was kicked out of the Lib Dems for Antisemitism – has just used a speech to describe Israel as 'America's puppetmaster' 😬 pic.twitter.com/MYjNYmo0tL
— Calgie (@christiancalgie) February 27, 2020
Tonge’s colleague in the House of Lords, Parry Mitchell, responded to Tonge in a subsequent speech arguing why it’s important to ensure Israel’s safety and security.
“When the noble lady Baroness Tonge sees the passion we Jews have for Israel, it is because so many more of us would have been saved if Israel had existed before [World War II],” Mitchell said. “And that is why for us, Israel’s safety is paramount.”
After her latest outburst in the Lords, Lord Mitchell schools Tonge on why #Israel is so important to us Jews.
(Her 'punum' is a picture!) pic.twitter.com/Zbfvhx2JYH
— SussexFriendsofIsrael (@SussexFriends) February 27, 2020
The American Jewish Committee condemned Tonge’s remarks.
“We are appalled by Baroness Tonge’s latest anti-Semitic remarks in which she described Israel as the ‘puppet master’ of the United States,” the group tweeted. “Her long and extensive record of Jew-baiting has proven time and again that she is utterly unfit to sit in the British House of Lords.”
We are appalled by Baroness Tonge‘s latest antisemitic remarks in which she described Israel as the “puppet master“ of the United States. Her long and extensive record of Jew-baiting has proven time and again that she is utterly unfit to sit in the British House of Lords. https://t.co/PCDTocQyTy
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) February 28, 2020
The Community Security Trust, a British nonprofit that focuses on providing security to Jews as protection from anti-Semitism, tweeted: “Unlike other forms of racism, anti-Semitism ‘punches up,’ not ‘down’: because Jews are accused of evil, hidden power.”
Unlike other forms of racism, antisemitism “punches up”, not “down”: because Jews are accused of evil, hidden power. https://t.co/RvkbbGztWz
— CST (@CST_UK) February 28, 2020
According to the UK Independent, Tonge was a member of the Liberal Democrat party until she was suspended in 2016 when she chaired an event in Parliament at which a speaker suggested that Jews are to blame for the Holocaust and compared Israel to ISIS. Tonge resigned from the party after being suspended and is currently an independent.
The House of Lords is the upper house of Parliament. Unlike the U.S. Senate, Congress’ upper chamber, members of the House of Lords aren’t elected. Its membership is granted by appointment or by heredity or official function.
In December, Tonge wrote in a Facebook post that “the pro-Israel lobby won our General Election by lying about Jeremy Corbyn.”