Baroness Jenny Tonge is changing her story—a polite way of saying that she’s a liar.
As you probably know by now, Jenny Tonge—who is a longtime devotee of Jewish conspiracy theories—was fired (or “sacked,” as the Brits say) from her position as health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, following her statement that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants. (In the words of Liberal Democrat candidate Ed Fordham: “It’s abhorrent that anyone should suggest that something as perverse and sick as this should be investigated.”)
Tonge’s statement was in response to a question in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, which asked her to comment on an article published in the Palestine Telegraph—of which Tonge is a patron. The article, titled “Focus on Israel: Harvesting Hatian Organs,” was written by Stephen Lendman—a Far-Right nutcase who keeps company with Holocaust deniers.
That’s business as usual at the Palestine Telegraph, an online newspaper that frequently publishes anti-semitic and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories. (For a more in-depth description of the newspaper’s activities, see this post at Harry’s Place.)
Now, here’s where things get peculiar. As blogger Stephanie Gutmann recently wrote at the Daily Telegraph: “I asked Tonge how she had come to her conclusions. It turned that she had been inspired by an article on a website of a guy she called a ‘highly respected Jewish researcher’ — an ‘opinion piece’ she hastened to add (they are always opinion pieces).”
The highly respected Jewish researcher was Stephen Lendman. So, what’s the truth here? Did Tonge come to her conclusions by way of the Palestine Telegraph, or Lendman’s own website?
What’s more, the following information has been posted on various blogs sympathetic to Tonge:
In an e-mail to an anti-Israel activist that was posted on an activist message board on Saturday, the Liberal Democrat peer blamed Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard for spreading the “silly allegation” and thus damaging Israel’s work in Haiti.
Tonge said in the e-mail:
“This is total rubbish, as usual. Palestine Telegraph last week had a long piece by a Jewish American on the subject of organ donation, not an editorial piece. It said there were postings on YouTube about organ harvesting in Haiti by the large team sent out by Israel to help. The JC asked for a comment, as I am a patron of the Palestine Telegraph. I actually congratulated Israel for their prompt response to the disaster and said that if allegations were being made they should conduct an inquiry to dispel any rumors. OK? It is quite ludicrous. Organs would be useless in that situation anyway and it is a nonsense suggestion. Trouble is he [Stephen Pollard] has now spread a silly allegation and done untold damage to a really great effort by the Israelis.”
So, Tonge acknowledges that the article appeared in the Palestine Telegraph, and that it wasn’t an editorial
Why is she changing her story? To make herself sound more credible—claiming her source was an “opinion piece” appearing on the website of a “a highly respected Jewish researcher”— while also doing a favor for her friends at the Palestine Telegraph?
Making matters more interesting, the Palestine Telegraph has removed Lendman’s article from its website. You can still read the cached version here.
And, on a final note of irony, the Palestine Telegraph has just published an editorial, blaming Tonge’s dismissal on you-know-who:
It is with great sadness that we see a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people removed from her position as Health Spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. This is a clear sign of the political power that the Pro Israeli Lobby have over all political leaders and their party. This does not stop here in the UK but also extends throughout the US and the EU.
Baronness Jenny Tonge was truly a highly moral and ethical lady and a true friend of Palestine. She now has made the eternal sacrifice in speaking from her heart whilst all the other senior political figures grovel around for Pro Israeli funds to prop up their election campaign. I feel that Jenny should now run as an independent candidate in the next election as I am sure someone with her courage would do extremely well with having any donations from those that try to manipulate politics.
Bless you Jenny and for all what you have done for the people of Gaza and Palestine.