British MP criticized after expressing sympathy with Palestinian suicide bombers

Published January 23rd, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

A British MP criticized for sympathising with Palestinian suicide bombers on Friday was standing by her statement. 


Liberal Democrat Dr. Jenny Tonge issued a "clarification" of her claim, saying "While we are arguing about suicide bombers and whether we condone or understand them, I think we should say that we don't condone or understand the Israeli illegal occupation of Palestine since 1967. 


"We shouldn't understand or condone the settlements and the roads that separate the Palestinians. "We should not condone or understand the security wall." 


During an interview on BBC2's Newsnight on Thursday, Dr. Tonge said that while not condoning bombers she could "fully understand where they are coming from". 


Earlier, when challenged for remarks on the issue originally made in Parliament, Tonge said: "I do understand why people out there become suicide bombers. It is out of desperation. "I dare say if I was in their situation with my children and my grandchildren and I saw no hope for the future at all - which I'm not, of course, but if I did - I might just think about it myself." 


Following these comments, the MP immediately found herself isolated by party leader Charles Kennedy, Sky News reported. A party spokesman said that Tonge was not speaking on behalf of the party when she made her comments on television. (

© 2004 Al Bawaba (

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