“The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims,” she said, “and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.”
“Even [the Quartet’s Middle East envoy] Tony Blair has now admitted this publicly,” she claimed.
“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?” The peer went on say that “cynics might think” Britain is at the ready to help Israel attack Iran.
“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 [fighter jets] can be dispensed with [as part of UK defense cuts] – [since] 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,” she said.
Tonge, a lifelong anti-Israel activist, continued: “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 in the middle as the remedy and the base for the West to fight back.”
The party has distanced itself from Tonge’s comments, which “do not reflect the views of the Liberal Democrats,” a spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday. “Indeed, last week [party leader] Nick Clegg stressed that Israel’s right to thrive in peace and security is non-negotiable for Liberal Democrats.”