Tonge lashed over fas­cist link

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SI­MON ROCKER

AN ANTI-FAS­CIST GROUP has de­manded that Baroness Tonge with­draws from a pro-Pales­tinian con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber which is also due to be ad­dressed by a far-right Hun­gar­ian Euro-MP.

The ‘Noth­ing Bri­tish About the BNP’ group chal­lenged the Lib­eral Demo­crat peer over the planned par­tic­i­pa­tion of Kristina Mor­vai, leader of the na­tion­al­ist Job­bik party in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

But Nasir Ahmed, re­searcher for the Pales­tinian Re­turn Cen­tre, de­nied that Mrs Mor­vai was “among in­vited guests” and said it de­plored her “ex­trem­ist” party.

Mau­rice Cousins, of Noth­ing Bri­tish, said that Mrs Mor­vai’s name ap­peared in a press release about the con­fer­ence. This was pub­lished two weeks ago by the Pales­tine Tele­graph news­pa­per and Wafa, the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity news agency.

Mr Cousins said: “To dou­ble check that some mis­take wasn’t made, we spoke to her as­sis­tant Zsanett Makkai in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, who con­firmed that Mrs Mor­vai had been in­vited to at­tend.

“We were told that Mrs Mor­vai very much hopes to be at the De­cem­ber rally, di­ary com­mit­ments per­mit­ting.”

Mrs Mor­vai, whose Job­bik party was ad­dressed last year by BNP leader Nick Grif­fin, was re­ported by Ha’aretz to have once said: “I would be glad if the so-called proud Hun­gar­ian Jews would go back to play­ing with their tiny lit­tle cir­cum­cised tail rather than vil­i­fy­ing me.”

But Mr Ahmed main­tained: “We have sent a num­ber of press re­leases with a list of our speak­ers and Christina is not among them. It ap­pears there is a uni­fied ef­fort to sully this event.”

In a let­ter to Baroness Tonge on Tues­day, Mr Cousins also drew at­ten­tion to the stated par­tic­i­pa­tion of Daud Ab­dul­lah, the deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Bri­tain.

The Gov­ern­ment sus­pended links with the MCB ear­lier this year af­ter Mr Ab­dul­lah signed the hard­line “Is­tan­bul Dec­la­ra­tion”, which called on any for­eign war­ships sent to stop arms smug­gling into Gaza to be “fought by all means”.

Baroness Tonge, whose out­spo­ken at­tacks on Is­rael have led to com­plaints to the Lib Dems from the Board of Deputies, was un­avail­able for com­ment.

A spokesman for her party said: “Baroness Tonge is cur­rently in Ethiopia work­ing with the Bill Gates Foun­da­tion and is not con­tactable. We will speak to her about this event upon her re­turn. We, of course, ab­hor the fas­cist views of the Job­bik party in Hun­gary.”

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