Sunday, November 17, 2019
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Rev Jules Gomes: The State of Israel is no excuse for Baroness Tonge’s Jew hatred

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You wouldn’t want to be standing next to Baroness Tonge. She is definitely sickening. She pours forth bile in public and in parliament. It is a nauseating blend of virulent anti-Semitism and venomous pro-Palestinian propaganda. You certainly won’t want to be within a mile of Tonge’s tongue  in 2017. It is the year she intends to go on spewing out even more venom  against Israel, which is why she inaugurated the Balfour Apology Campaign in the Parliament last month.

So what ails Jenny Tonge? What causes these violent attacks? Offering a diagnosis of her disease, which also ails Jeremy Corbyn and a number of Labour party members, she says: “It is difficult to believe that the 75 per cent increase in anti-Semitism it reports has been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason.” The report she refers to is a diagnostic report by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons. It concluded that the Labour leadership was failing to confront toxic anti-Semitism in its ranks.

So there we have it! Blame the Jews! Who else? They are the contagious carriers of the virus of anti-Semitism. If there weren’t any Jews, there would be no anti-Semitism. Now why did somebody not think of this solution before?

According to Tonge’s ‘expert’ analysis, incidents of anti-Semitism “are reflecting the disgust among the general public of the way the government of Israel treats Palestinians and manipulates the USA and ourselves to take no action against the country’s blatant disregard for international law and the Geneva Conventions.” Blame Israel! Who else? If Israel did not exist, there would be no anti-Semitism.

Tonge and other Jew-haters would be healed of their Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome if Jews became extinct and Israel was wiped off the map. So why did the Anti-Semitic Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome ravage entire continents even when Israel did not exist as a nation? England kicked out its Jews in 1290, France in 1306 and 1394, Hungary between 1349 and 1360, Austria in 1421, Germany between the 14th and 16th Centuries, Lithuania in 1445 and 1495, Spain in 1492, Portugal in 1497, and Bohemia and Moravia in 1744-45. From the 15th century until 1772, Jews were banned from entering Russia. Between 1948 and 1967 nearly all the Jews of Aden, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, fled for their lives. Why?

There was no Israel and there were no oppressed Palestinians claiming victim status! So why has this Anti-Semitic Cyclic Vomiting pandemic spewed its bile against the Jews for so long in so many countries, even as early as the Merneptah Stele (1220 BCE) which bears the inscription ‘Israel is no more’?

Did the Pharaoh of the Exodus begin his genocide of the Jews out of pity for the Palestinians or because he was outraged by America’s support for Israel—which did not exist at that point? Did Haman and the Persians from the exilic period of the book of Esther plot to exterminate the Jews because they couldn’t bear to see Palestinians detained at Israeli checkpoints? And what about Uncle Adolf with the toothbrush moustache? Was he mad at the Jews because of (non-existent) Israel’s ‘blatant disregard of international law and the Geneva Conventions’? Surely Jews are not exaggerating when in the Passover Haggadah they recite the words: “In every generation, they rise against us in order to annihilate us.”

Can Baroness Tonge offer a diagnosis of the universal and unique disease of Anti-Semitic Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome? Why is it that at all times and in all places people hate Jews? Dennis Prager in his book Why the Jews: The Reason for Anti-Semitism offers a more plausible diagnosis. ‘Jews never asked, “Why the Jews?” They knew exactly why. Throughout their history, Jews have regarded Jew-hatred as an inevitable consequence of their Jewishness,’ he writes. Hear! Hear!

Jew-haters hate Jews because they are Jews. Period. But what is so problematic about being a Jew? The problem is the God of the Jews, the Scripture of the Jews, the Land of the Jews and the Jews themselves. Jew-haters hate Jews because they hate the Jewish God, the Jewish Torah, the Jewish homeland and the Jews.

For Richard Dawkins, the Jewish God is ‘arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully’. Devotees of this God suffer from The God Delusion.

The bigger problem is that the Jewish God claims to be the only God, abhorring polytheism and idolatry, ruler of Israel as well as the nations, offering a universal morality through his commandments, and calling the uniquely chosen children of Abraham to be a blessing to every family on earth, while remaining purposefully rooted in the particularity of historical time and geographical space on a tiny strip of land called Israel. I call this ‘historical ethical monotheism.’

The God of Israel is offensive to people who reject his Oneness in favour of their own pantheon of mental and metal idols; the Torah is odious to ethical relativists who reject absolute moral standards; the idea of the chosen people of Israel is scandalous to those who reject a concrete particularity in favour of a nebulous universality and the land of Israel is a contemptible concept for those who reject the intervention of a God who acts within national borders in space and time in favour of a touchy-feely therapeutic deism.

‘Economic depressions do not account for gas chambers,’ writes Prager. The Palestinian cause may exacerbate the wretched retching of the Anti-Semitic Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, but the diagnosis runs deeper. The Liberal Democrat Baroness Tonge, the Labour Jew-haters, self-hating Jews, Christians who hate Jews and anti-Semites of all variations around the world suffer from this ASCVS because Jew-hatred is an inevitable consequence of Israel’s God, Israel’s people, Israel’s Torah and Israel’s very existence. This is why you cannot stop Baroness Tonge from choking on her own vomit.

(Image: Takver)

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‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
The Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes, BA, BD, MTh, PhD (Cantab) is a journalist and academic.

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