U.K. lawmaker 'fired over claims IDF harvested organs in Haiti'
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat, has been fired before for controversial comments on Israel.
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat lawmaker in Britain, has been fired from her position as party health spokesperson for urging a probe into claims that Israel Defense Forces soldiers harvested organs in Haiti following last month's earthquake, the Guardian reported on Saturday.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg sacked Tonge after parliamentarians were said to have complained about her remarks, according to the Guardian.
The report added that Tonge made her accusations about the IDF mission in Haiti in the online Palestine Telegraph - of which she is a patron.
She then told the Jewish Chronicle: "To prevent allegations such as these - which have already been posted on YouTube - going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti."
Clegg called her remarks "wrong, distasteful and provocative," adding, "I recognize the deep and understandable distress they have caused to the Jewish community."
"Following discussions with the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord McNally, I have decided that Jenny Tonge will stand down as Liberal Democrat health spokesperson in the Lords following her unacceptable comments suggesting an inquiry into highly offensive allegations against the IDF humanitarian operation in Haiti," Clegg was quoted as saying.
"While I do not believe that Jenny Tonge is anti-Semitic or racist, I regard her comments as wholly unacceptable. Jenny Tonge apologizes unreservedly for the offence she has caused."
This incident marks the second time Tonge has been fired from a Liberal Democrat position for making controversial comments about Israel.
In 2004, she was fired as a party spokeswoman on children's issues after suggesting she could consider becoming a suicide bomber, had she been Palestinian.
"If I had been a mother and a grandmother in Palestine living for decades in that situation, I don't know, I may well have become one myself," she had been quoted as telling a pro-Palestinian meeting in Westminster.
Last year, Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom sparked outrage in Israel with allegations that IDF soldiers harvested organs of dead Palestinians and trafficked in them.
During a later visit to Israel, Bolstrom admitted he had no proof for his story beyond the allegations of the families of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army.