Is Israel-Bashing Anti-Semitic?

February 16th, 2010 at 3:00 pm David Frum | 5 Comments |

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My latest column for discusses the difficulty in separating hatred for Israel from hatred for Jews.

Jennifer Tonge is not a lunatic. She is a member of the British House of Lords, appointed to that eminent body in 2005 after a career in politics and medicine.

On February 11, she was asked a question by, the online version of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle.

Tonge serves as patron of an online journal based in Gaza, the Palestine Telegraph. The previous week, the Palestine Telegraph accused the Israeli medical teams doing humanitarian work in Haiti of harvesting organs from earthquake victims. asked Tonge for comment. Tonge first commended the Israeli teams for their work in Haiti. She then added these words:

“To prevent allegations such as these — which have already been posted on YouTube — going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti.” …

On February 14, Lady Tonge was removed from her position as health critic for the Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Lords. But Tonge’s comments did not originate in the ether.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    It is insulting and unnecessarily inflammatory to label any criticism of Israel as “hatred”.

    That said, how do you handle the Hassidic Jews, who are extremely anti-Zionist? Are they anti-semetic?

  • msmilack

    Interesting question, balconesfault. As in this country, so within Israel, there is a growing battle between the fundamentalists and the rest of their society.

  • msmilack

    Speaking of Israel but slightly off subject, I was curious to see the recent announcement that Israel is planning to erect a Red Army memorial, in honor of the Russian help in defeating the Nazis. I assume it is the latest example of Israel’s attempt to get Russia’s help in dealing with Iran. I’d be curious to learn more about that alliance. Remember Netanyahu’s secret trip to Russia in the last year (at least it was intended to be secret)? I believe it is all part of Israel’s attempt to get Russia to join their own strategy against Iran, most recently asking Russia to provide sanctions against Iran with teeth. I’ll be curious to see what develops. Unless I am mistaken, they are looking for a response that precludes going to war.

  • wrs10

    “Jennifer Tonge is not a lunatic.”
    Surely a statement of opinion rather than fact. Anyone who mouths her rubbish is a bit unhinged from reality one way or another.

  • msmilack

    It bothers me that one of the people behind Sarah Palin’s campaign is Fred Malek, most famous for his job as official “Jew Counter” for Richard Nixon. Of course he has apologized for this act of anti-semitism (who wouldn’t?) but this is also the man who had to pay the SEC a fine of $100,000. You have to wonder what Palin offers to the vision of such an individual.