Haiti accusations get British lawmaker in Dutch

(JTA) — A British lawmaker was removed from a party position after calling on Israel to look into claims that its rescue team in Haiti harvested victims’ organs.

Jenny Tonge of the Liberal Democrat party was fired as party health spokesman last Friday after she legitimized the claims by calling for an investigation, the Guardian reported.

Accusations that the Israeli rescue team in Haiti that made headlines around the world was harvesting body parts in the country devastated by an earthquake last month appeared in the online Palestinian Telegraph. Tonge is a patron of the virulently anti-Israel Web site.

Her firing came after she 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."

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said last Friday night that Tonge "apologizes unreservedly" for the statement, according to the Guardian.

"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 said. "The comments were wrong, distasteful and provocative, and I recognize the deep and understandable distress they have caused to the Jewish community.

"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 offense she has caused."

In 2004, Tonge was fired as spokeswoman on children’s issues after suggesting that if she were a Palestinian mother, she would consider becoming a suicide bomber.
 

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