Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge crosses line again
Baroness Tongue feels right at home with anti-Israel sympathisers
Controversial Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge has accused Israel of being the "cause of terrorism" and said the West's treatment of Muslims was due to "Holocaust guilt" and the power of the pro-Israel lobby.
Baroness Tonge, who was sacked in February by leader Nick Clegg as health spokesperson after demanding an investigation into allegations of organ harvesting by the IDF in Haiti, made the comments in the House of Lords on Friday.
Speaking at the Strategic Defence and Security Review, she said: "The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.
"Even Tony Blair has now admitted this publicly. Why do we let it continue? Is it Holocaust guilt? We should be guilty - of course we should. Is it the power of the pro-Israel lobby here and in the USA? I do not know.
"Or is it the need, maybe, to have an aircraft carrier called Israel in the Middle East from which to launch attacks on countries such as Iran? The cynic might think that that is why HMS 'Ark Royal' and the Harriers can be dispensed with - we already have a static 'Ark Royal' in a strategic position, armed to the teeth and ready to fight, provided that we do not offend Israel.
"I feel sorry for the people of Israel sometimes. Their government's policies have made that country the cause of a lot of the world's problems, yet now they are seen as the remedy and the base for the West to fight back."
Her comments come just two days after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg admitted Israel's voice had not been well enough represented within the party.
Speaking to the LibDem Friends of Israel last Wednesday, he said: "No other country so continually has its right to exist called into question as does Israel, and that is intolerable."
A Liberal Democrat spokesman said the comments did not reflect the views of the party.
He said: "Last week, Nick Clegg stressed that Israel's right to thrive in peace and security is non-negotiable for Liberal Democrats.
"We support the efforts to secure a lasting peace settlement so that both Israelis and Palestinians can live in safety, security and mutual respect."
Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said: "Baroness Tonge has once again used language that has crossed every red line that her party colleagues have tried to lay down for her."