Street theatre with Lord Levy

By MatthewHarris
April 18, 2010

OK, I have a confession to make. As a largely secular Jew (a small-l liberal Jew, perhaps), I am not shomer shabbat. So, on Saturday, I was out and about in the glorious sunshine with my Lib Dem team, handing out leaflets and talking to people locally. We got a very positive reception from a lot of people and the weather made it great fun. And then who should I see walking towards me but Lord Levy himself.

I was talking at the time to a lady who is very sadly homeless, but I broke off to acknowledge Lord Levy as he walked by. He smiled back with perfect courtesy and said nothing, unlike one of the chaps he was with, who launched into a - is "tirade" too strong a word? I fear not. He wanted to know how I had the effrontery to stand on the streets of Hendon, etc, etc. I was going to argue back when I remembered that I was already in the middle of a conversation with someone else, so I broke off and that was the end of that.

I shall continue to have the effrontery to campaign on the streets of Hendon. People fought and died in wars for my right to do so.

Matthew Harris is the Lib Dem candidate for Hendon.

This blog is part of the's On The Campaign Trail blog for the Election 2010 where candidates in key Jewish areas have been invited to blog. Read more on our Election 2010 page



Sun, 04/18/2010 - 23:18

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Were you able to discern what his problem was with you standing on the street in Hendon? Was it the Shabbos thing.... Because it seems to me like it was none of the mans business what you choose to do with your saturday..

Good for you for not rising to the bait also....


Mon, 04/19/2010 - 10:09

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"Were you able to discern what his problem was with you standing on the street in Hendon?"

Exactly the same problem virtually all sane Jews have with that vile party.

Jenny Tonge

1) [on suicide bombers] - "If I had to live in that situation - and I say that advisedly - I might just consider becoming one myself." - 2004 [despite this truly ugly statement, she was later given a peerage]

2) "The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a grip on our party." - 2006

3) “The way Israel behaves is just not kosher. Jewish people should be totally ashamed of themselves that they are not doing more to stop them. It’s absolutely disgusting.” She claimed that the reason behind the weekend’s shootings in the West Bank was to “make provocations so Israel will have an excuse to go in again” and said that last month’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme on the “Israel lobby” may be the reason why Gordon Brown “isn’t doing something” - 2009

4) Tonge: Investigate IDF stealing organs in Haiti 2010 (article in this newspaer)

Baroness Tonge, the Liberal Peer, still retains the party whip.


Mon, 04/19/2010 - 12:56

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Thanks, Joshua, I think I might be a sane Jew myself...

Baroness Tonge is only a backbench peer. She has been sacked from the front bench. She is one person and she has no influence. She is not a major figure in my party. Would you judge the Conservative Party by just one backbench peer?Are there no similar people in other parties, Labour included, after the JC's recent stories about Martin Linton, Karen Buck and Sir Gerald Kaufman? And they are actually standing to be MPs again, rather than languishing in obscurity in the House of Lords.

The best way to counter the influence of critics of Israel is to elect friends of Israel as MPs. If, as I hope, this election results in many more Lib Dem MPs, then surely it's good news if I am among them as MP for Hendon, given that I am a Vice-Chairman of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel?

Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 14:19

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Well here's another of your LibDem peers. And he is a front bench spokesman. Lord Wallace is Deputy Leader of the LibDems in the Lords and a spokesman on Foreign Affairs.

He spoke yesterday to Board of Deputies. I was there. He tried to defend Jenny Tonge; accused Israel of ‘collective punishment’; said that all criticism of Israel is deemed ‘antisemitic’; and attacked the Editor of the JC for “trapping” Tonge and said he was “no friend” of the LDs.

At least four Deputies walked out.


Mon, 04/19/2010 - 18:15

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And, if you go to the front page of this newspaper, you can read an article about Lord Wallace's ugly comments:

Lib Dem Lords deputy leader causes Board walk out

Then we have Lord Dykes, a Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. In that place he recently accused Israel of murder, compared that nation to apartheid South Africa and called for sanctions against her. Scroll down a little to read Dykes' ugly comments:

About this, also read Geoffrey Paul's excellent piece at the JC:

Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 19:10

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The great sensible views on Israel of Chris Philp, the Conservative candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn.


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