A couple of months ago Jenny Tonge caused a firestorm after she publicly stated during an anti-Israel diatribe “Israel is not going to be there forever in its present performance”. Rejecting an ultimatum from Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, to apologize for her remarks Tonge was forced to resign from the Liberal Democrats and give up the party whip.
Commenting on Tonge’s remarks, Robert Halfon, MP opined
“Baroness Tonge has an appalling record of strong anti-Israel rhetoric. Too often, these remarks carry an offensive anti-Semitic tone. The Liberal Democrat whip should be withdrawn immediately, and she should withdraw her remarks.”
Enter Salma Yaqoob, hailed by the Guardian as “the most prominent Muslim woman in British public life”.
[H]er connections with Islamist extremism go back far further than her association with RESPECT. She was part of the campaign team which supported the family of Abu Hamza, who were caught while taking part in jihadist training in Yemen. Most disgracefully, she wrote an article in Inayat Bunglawala’s “Trends” magazine, which imagined Britain becoming an Islamic Republic, from which Salman Rushdie was depicted fleeing for his life.
It should come as no surprise then that Yaqoob holds a special place in her heart for Israel. She attended a protest together with Richard Burden, MP, in which the Israeli flag was burnt. On her personal blog, she lovingly refers to the IHH terrorists on board the Mavi Marmara as martyrs, campaigned for the release of Sheikh Raed Salah, endorsed the closure of the Israeli embassy in London, and supported the pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy while on Twitter she participated in the campaign to release Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson, Khader Adnan.
In the spirit of Norman Finkelstein, in an article published in the Guardian (but where else!) she accused “Zionists [of abusing] the memory of the Holocaust to bolster support for today’s Israeli state.” And as can be seen from this article she is a staunch supporter of the BDS movement and the antisemitic Israel apartheid trope.
Which is all by way of introduction to this video filmed in 2010 that places everything neatly in context.
Around the 1 minute mark you can hear Yaqoob saying the following:
“[J]ust as South Africa now is liberated. Just as the bankrupt apartheid regime was exposed, was exposed to a world of the solidarity of world citizens [sic] was dismantled, so too the days of this racist apartheid regime are numbered.” [emphasis added]
Calling into question the existence of and willing the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is abhorrent, offensive and yes antisemitic.
So I ask the question: is there really any difference between what Jenny Tonge and Salma Yaqoob said?
Perhaps Yaqoob should ponder this next time she openly threatens CiF Watch on twitter for expressing our First Amendment rights of free speech.
On Twitter, Yaqoob is claiming that she referred to the fact that 7/7 bomber claimed it as a reprisal attack and that she condemned the bombings unreservedly.
On Twitter, Yaqoob claims that the Trends article was a satirical parody. She’s strangely silent about the substance of the post – namely the similarity of her statement to that of Jenny Tonge!
More hate speech from Salma Yaqoob, this time on Twitter:
Yaqoob is resolute about standing behind her comments a la Jenny Tonge as evidenced by this retweet:
This retweet from Salma Yaqoob is priceless:
And then she retweets this: