British lawmaker blames Israel for rise of jihad

Jenny Tonge, a well-known critic of Israel, says Israel's treatment of Palestinians is a major cause in the rise of jihadism worldwide.

Elad Benari,

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A British lawmaker is under fire for accusing Israel of being a major cause in the rise of jihadism worldwide, JTA reported Thursday.

Following the statement Thursday by Jenny Tonge, a House of Lords member from the Liberal Democrat party, the Board of Deputies of British Jews called on the party’s head to dismiss her.

Tonge reportedly said “the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh,” using the Arab-language acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.

She also claimed Israel was provoking a generation of violent extremists who would have “a justified grudge” against Israel and Britain.

In response, Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl said in a statement the comments were "another outrageous speech" by Tonge on the Middle East.

“It is time for Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron to expel her once and for all from the party,” the statement said, according to JTA.

This is not the first time that Tonge has made controversial statements against Israel.

In 2004, she said that she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were an Arab living in the Palestinian Authority.

In 2006 Tonge said that “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.”

In 2010, Tonge accused Israel of being the “cause of terrorism” and said that the West's treatment of Muslims was caused by what she called “Holocaust guilt” and the “power of the pro-Israel lobby”.

And in 2012, she resigned from her position of party whip, a task equivalent in the United States to speaker, after she spoke about Israel’s demise at an event promoting the boycott of the Jewish state.

"Beware Israel. Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form," she said at the time. "One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving 70 billion pounds [approximately $92 billion] a year to Israel to support what I call America's aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown."




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