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UK politician stokes controversy by saying Israel "will not go on forever"

Harsh criticism of Israel may have cost one UK politician her job.

Jenny tonger 2012 02 29Enlarge
LONDON - NOVEMBER 24: Alex Salmond MP (SNP) - Banff and Buchan and Jenny Tonge MP (Liberal Democrat) from the campaign group 'Impeach Blair' holds a report to the meadia on November 24, 2004 in London, England. Tonge has since resigned following the release of footage of making pessimistic comments about Israel. (Graeme Robertson/AFP/Getty Images)

"It will not go on for ever, it will not go on for ever. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown."

These words, spoken by a member of the UK's House of Lords (and shown in footage below), have sparked a huge amount of controversy in the UK.

The Guardian reports that Baroness Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat peer, was filmed making the remarks during a student panel last week.

She also went on to say, "One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70 billion [$112 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."

Multiple sources are today reporting that Tonge has resigned from the Liberal Democrats today after video of her remarks prompted politicians to call for the party's leader, Nick Clegg, to take disciplinary action against Tonge.

"No place in politics for those who question existence of the state of Israel. Nick Clegg must condemn Jenny Tonge's remark & demand apology," Ed Miliband tweeted.

Tonge has apparently refused to apologize. She remains a member of the House of Lords under its current system.

The Liberal Democrat leadership criticized Tonge for making "extremely ill-judged" and distanced itself from her remarks, but did not call on her to withdraw her comments. A spokesman said: "Jenny Tonge does not speak for the party on Israel and Palestine. Her presence and comments at this event were extremely ill-advised and ill-judged ... The Liberal Democrats are wholehearted supporters of a peaceful two state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue."

Tonge has frequently run into trouble for other comments about Israel, but some are already arguing that this latest controversy is overblown.

Watch footage of the comments below:

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Original Source URL: 
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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/120229/business-insider-uk-politician-resigns-after-sayi