Archive for the ‘Gaza’ Category

Which Muslim Women Does Lauren Booth speak for? [Guest Post from Ms Jupiter]

October 31, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

31st October 2011

Below is a guest post by a freelance writer.

_____

Nowadays there is a familiar face of a woman in hijab that frequently graces the pages of many daily British newspapers.

Lauren Booth attends a protest against islamophobia and racism organised by the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS), in Bern October 29, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer (SWITZERLAND)

Her name is Lauren Booth and like the name suggests she is English.

So who is this lady and why does she appear so often in newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Guardian? By looking at her one might guess that she has opinions on herself and why she chose to be the way she is.  It may well be a case where she will have her own life story as a milestone to share with others.  Anything that she will say will be marked with a strong conviction about adopting an ideology which will give her some sort of identity.

But wherever Ms Booth’s name appears there is another name that follows: that of her brother-in-law Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. The press for obvious reasons have relished the idea of pairing the two of them. And all sorts of conjuring thoughts have been paired together to suggest just how bizarre it is that both of them are related.

One of them is the support for the Palestinian state.

Tony Blair at the moment is assigned as the Mideast Quartet representative; to oversee the efforts to resolve issues for the statehood for both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Lauren Booth has chosen to classify herself as a pro-Palestinian activist, which has earned her a lot of acknowledgment in some Muslim countries. In addition to this she has made it publicly known of her criticism of Tony Blair for the Iraq war intervention.

Tony Blair with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to discuss peace negotiations

When it comes to her conversion to Islam Lauren Booth is very vocal about it and has been going around the globe giving talks on a western woman’s perspective about converting to Islam.

Lauren Booth at a news conference next to Majjati, the wife of a Salafist Muslim in jail, in Morocco October 26, 2011. Booth, who converted to Islam late last year, is the sister-in-law of former British premier Tony Blair. Picture taken October 26, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer (MOROCCO)

Time and again she comes in the media as a face and a voice to endorse the so-called perspective which will give a stamp of identity, if Islam is adopted as a means to wear it as a distinctive badge. The voices of adulations praising her efforts are many. In fact too many. They have all praised her as an example of what Islam should be if a woman chooses to come in the public wearing a covering over her head. She has on numerous occasions spread the word on how illuminated she felt during an experience which transformed her into a new person, and finally led her to accept Islam.

She is the brand of new converts to Islam in the Western world. These women encouraged by their own experiences then seek to advance their own knowledge by speaking out about it. It will not be a surprise that many women coming from Muslim countries to the US and Europe are influenced by their views and then seek to be transformed in the same manner, as if their former experiences had little bearing to who they were and where they came from. They are taken aback by these new convert women’s rich experiences and seem to downcast their own identity. My question to such women would be must we give in to what others have to preach about Islam? Some of us come from Muslim countries, where the culture and its values have given us a homogenous Islamic atmosphere. Why do we have to feel we are any less if we do not confine ourselves to what others believe about Islam?

It may not go amiss if women like Lauren Booth go around the Muslim world and talk to women for the need to educate themselves in a way that they become constructive members of their societies, learning to participate with other communities; because more importantly it is the need to build bridges and foster good relations between different communities that is needed in today’s world. What good is an education that is fostering segregation? How far can you go if you believe in it?! And what about the Muslim women who do not believe in segregation? Are we to feel deprived and less fortunate than the ones who are the way Lauren Both is? The badge of humility seems to be missing when Lauren Booth chooses to stand in front of a congregation at a university to speak out about her own experiences. That is an easy option and probably something that gets her attention straight away. Reaching out to communities and trying to change their perspectives is a hands-on job and much harder.

She is outspoken about her criticism on Tony Blair.  But would she be famous if she were not related to Tony Blair? Without that link her conversion probably would not have taken her so far.  But if I were her, and I was genuine I would have objected to having my name placed next to a person of whom I disapproved.  I would have stood up for my own identity and would have insisted people know me as who I am and not because of who I am related to.

Ends

Ms Jupiter

__________

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

An exhausted Tony Blair to Christiane Amanpour on Palestinian statehood (VIDEO)

September 18, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

18th September 2011

Mideast Envoy Tony Blair Working to Avoid ‘Showdown’ Over Palestinian Statehood

So, you think Tony Blair does this Middle East Quartet business for kudos or fun? I've never seen him looking so shattered!

DON’T LET THE WORK RATE KILL YOU, TONY. There’s another week of this.  At least.

Today on ABC’s This Week in an interview with Christiane Amanpour an exhausted-looking Tony Blair said “I think there is a way of avoiding a confrontation or a showdown”.

I wonder if he is getting any sleep at ALL right now.

Video of Tony Blair interview is also here at Blair’s  website.

Article at ABC follows:

__________

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Quartet’s special envoy to the Middle East, said he is continuing to work to avert a showdown at the United Nations this week over Palestinian statehood, hoping to craft “a framework of reference” for renewing peace process negotiations.

“What we will be looking for over the next few days, is a way of putting together something that allows their claims and legitimate aspirations for statehood to be recognized while actually renewing the only thing that’s going to produce a state, which is a negotiation directly between the two sides,” Blair told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.

“I think there is a way of avoiding a confrontation or a showdown,” Blair said. “The only way in the end we are going to get a Palestinian state, and this week is all about advancing Palestinian statehood, the only way to do it ultimately is through negotiation.”

Frustrated with a stalled peace process, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week will ask the United Nations to admit Palestine as a state.

The United States has vowed to use its Security Council veto to block the Palestinians’ bid for official U.N. membership, but Abbas has pledged to take the matter to the U.N. General Assembly. That body is expected to overwhelmingly approve Palestine as an observer state, where it’s now an observer entity.

The largely symbolic change would allow Palestinians to gain access to the International Criminal Court, where it could pursue charges against Israelis. It would not affect Israel’s borders or displace any of the some 500,000 Israeli settlers now living in the Palestinian territories.

But the United States is concerned that the move could crush any chance of further negotiations and exacerbate anti-American sentiment in the region.

While Blair said the Palestinians are entitled to go to the United Nations over statehood, he said he hopes agreeing on a framework for reviving negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis will create “a less confrontational atmosphere” and move the long-dormant peace process forward.

“We’re trying to put together, in the Quartet body, that’s the body of the international community, a statement that is essentially a framework of reference for the negotiations,” Blair said, calling it still a “work in progress.” “So, it sets out … where we want to go on issues like borders. It describes all the main issues to be negotiated. And I think what’s going to be really important is also to give some sense of a time frame … for a successful negotiation.

“We haven’t had proper negotiations now for really quite a long time,” Blair said. “And what that means is that both sides become very frustrated with this situation. Both sides look for ways of advancing their position unilaterally rather than bilaterally or multilaterally … even these difficult issues like settlements and so on, the only way of resolving them is to sit down and negotiate borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, the core issues at stake here.”

In addition to the U.S. Security Council veto threat, members of Congress have said they are also considering cutting off funding for Palestinian security forces if they go forward with the statehood push.

Blair said he hopes “we can avoid that situation.”

“When I’m there on the West Bank, I see what this American money actually does,” said Blair, who says he has traveled to the region 71 times since leaving office. “And it provides support for security, on the Palestinian side, for institutions and for the economy, which is hugely important to … trying to build the state from the bottom up.”

Former President Bill Clinton echoed Blair’s concern, saying while there’s “a lot of frustration around this issue,” he does not support calls for Congress to cut off Palestinian security funding.

“I think that everybody knows the U.S. Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world. They don’t have to demonstrate that,” Clinton said. “I think as this unfolds, the worst thing we could do is to tie the administration’s hands.”

Clinton agreed with Blair that reviving a framework for peace negotiations was the only way to avert a showdown at the United Nations over statehood, which he called “an act of frustration on the part of the Palestinians.”

“The American government has agreed with Israel that there’s no way the U.N. can impose a peace plan, and therefore the peace plan has to be the subject of negotiations,” Clinton said. “We’re going to stick by Israel and its security, but we need to give them the ability to bring the Palestinians back into a negotiated position.”

“It might be good politics for the Palestinians with their people and the Israelis with theirs to have this standoff, but the most important thing is to have good-faith negotiations,” Clinton added.

__________

Read transcript of above interview here

__________

Keep an eye on Tony Blair’s website updates here – http://www.quartetrep.org/quartet/index/

__________

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Tony Blair: Israeli/Palestinian resolution – only through negotiations

September 7, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

7th September 2011

As the day nears – 20th September – when the Palestinians are expected to put their proposal for Palestinian statehood to the UN for ratification, Tony Blair is working hard to try and resolve differences and nullify the need for that divisive call.

Tony Blair is seeking a political settlement within the next two weeks. He has said before that  even if such a state were to be ratified by the UN, clearly without Israeli backing, it would make few practical differences on the ground. Differences regarding security and land claims would  still exist leading, inevitably, to more conflict. In that analysis he is clearly right.

Now, if Mr Jon Snow (see last post) had been paying more attention he might have been able to work out why Mr Blair was in Paris last week. Something to do with this? His 70th visit to the region in his role as Quartet representative?  Other EU leaders are no happier about the 20th September UN proposal than is Israel itself.

Video:Tony Blair at the Regional Cooperation Conference

Tony Blair says that resolution will only come through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians

Monday, Sep 05, 2011 in Office of Tony Blair, Office of the Quartet Representative

Quartet Representative Tony Blair set out his determination to see a return to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians as soon as possible to go alongside the work being done to improve the facts on the ground.

Tony Blair was speaking in Tel Aviv at the first International Conference for Regional Cooperation, organised by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom.

“Anything by way of economics can never be a substitute for politics,” Tony Blair stressed, in what is his seventieth visit to the region since taking up the Quartet Representative role.

But as far as making progress is concerned, there is “an intimate relationship between economics, politics and security” meaning building the economy “helps politics to work.”

Asked about what he thinks will happen in the region in the next few weeks as the Palestinian Authority plans to go the United Nations, Tony Blair emphasised the need to return to direct negotiations and said he was trying to find a framework that would bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.

“We should try as hard as we possibly can to find a way through that allows us to get back to the only thing that will resolve this, and that is a negotiation toward a viable independent state of Palestine and a secure state of Israel recognised by the region,” Tony Blair said.

“We can carry on with this impasse or that impasse,” he added, “[but] we always come back to the same issue and the same basic conclusion.”

While Tony Blair admitted that he does not know whether it would be possible to resume peace negotiations before September 20, when the United Nations General Assembly convenes, he said his focus was on trying to make that possible.

He acknowledged that the absence of negotiations created frustration all around, but said “there’s no way of looking at this in which we are in a better place without negotiations.”

He concluded by saying that he is still optimistic about peace and is basing that optimism on looking at the big picture.

“If you look at the big picture, it’s not in anyone’s interest not to make peace when you could make so much with peace,” he said. “It’s not sensible to remain in conflict when in peace we could create so much for both Israelis and Palestinians and for this region.”

Commenting on the unrest in the wider region, Tony Blair noted the difference between public protest in Israel and Syria. “What Assad is doing to his people is monstrous and wrong and in the end he won’t remain in power.”

“You’ve got freedom of assembly here…they’re not firing on demonstrators here and that’s the difference in a democracy.”

Source – TB website: Tony Blair: Resolution will only come through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians

__________

RELATED

“OUTSOURCING” TO BLAIR

Photo by: Itzik Edri

And if it doesn’t work as the Guardian article mentions, sourced from here,  there’s always someone else for the Obama administration to “blame” in this post-George Mitchell era.

Blair has a long track record of negotiating between the Israelis and Palestinians built up over four years as the quartet’s special envoy. According to Daniel Kurtzer, former US ambassador to Israel, the US administration needed a high-profile political figure to push the parties towards negotiations.

“There is a bit of outsourcing going on to someone like Tony Blair just to see if he can make something work,” he told Reuters. “If he can, the administration will glom* on to it and if he can’t the administration has not soiled its nest.”

*Meaning of American slang “glom”

Yeah, we get the picture. If Blair succeeds it’s all Big O’s doing. If he fails, it’s … guess whose fault?

And …

US says it’s in the lead – but Blair has the “bandwidth”

“We are leading this effort,” he [Kurtzer] said. “The president has given us this platform, everyone is working from that platform, and Blair, with all of his talents is a very important part of that.”

Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank said it would be very difficult to get the parties into talks because neither now seems to want them.

Asked why the Obama administration may have turned to Blair to do much of the current diplomatic work, he said it reflects in part Blair’s track record working with the Palestinians.

“It has something to do with the administration not feeling it has a senior envoy with bandwidth to do this right now,” he said. “And it has something to do with not wanting to expose the president politically by seeming to be pressuring Israel.”

CLINTON LOOKS TO ABBAS

Hillary Clinton has spoken to President Abbas on the issues. Excerpt:

White House spokesman Jay Carney meanwhile said the Palestinian effort was “not productive or helpful,” telling reporters that peace needed to be “negotiated directly by both parties.”

Making the UN membership bid without a peace plan in place would “not bring the Palestinians any closer to statehood,” he said.

Washington is said to be seeking to draft a proposal for peace talks that will be acceptable to Israel, as well as Russia, the European Union and the UN — the other members of the international peacemaking Quartet.

ETCETERA

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Israeli Orchestra disrupted at Proms; Hamas arts education; Schindler’s LISTening.

September 3, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

3rd September 2011

Sorry to temporarily interrupt my ongoing Tale of Two Twits (by the name of Rich) & their Catch the Pigeon chase -

- but I just thought I’d look back at what the latest incarnation of neo-Naziism was up to at The Proms in London on Thursday.

Anti-Israel protests disrupt BBC Proms concert

“Protesters have disrupted Thursday night’s BBC Proms concert by the Israel Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall.

The soloist, Gil Shaham, was about play Bruch’s violin concerto conducted by Zubin Mehta when some people in the audience began booing and shouting.

BBC Radio 3 interrupted its live broadcast before returning later.”

COMPARE & CONTRAST TIME

These video clips are worth a few minutes of your time – for the musical flavour, dear Promenaders! I’ve added a few other videos for comparison.

This site –  arts journal  – points to the next two videos -

1. The audience at the BBC Proms expresses its disgust with anti Israel yobs interrupting the performance.

Listen to the audience response.

2.

They are singing their own version of “Ode to Joy”

In another video online an audience member shouts at the protesters – “Not interested … OUT! OUT! OUT … Shut up” .  I noticed how someone pulled up the chap who shouted back “shut up”. And I noted how the ‘shut up’ shouter apologised. Talk about IMMORAL RELATIVISM!

But, in order that you can see all sides of this sorry tale -

A middle-age/middle-class version by anti-Israel protesters of Ode to Joy -

On the other hand, there’s this : ‘We Are The Brits’, by Anton Lorien

GIVE ME A CHILD UNTIL (S)HE IS SEVEN AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE WOMAN/MAN

An Israeli child

Maya Tamir Playing Hayden with Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra

J. Hayden Concherto D Major
Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra
Maya Tamir (8 years old)

1. Children of Hamas

The UN has been silent to the following criminal activities of the Hamas terrorist organization:
1. Hamas has violated the rights of the Palestinian children abusing them, brainwashing them and inciting them to hate and kill.
2. Hamas has deliberately and exclusively fired missiles at Israeli civilian populations hoping to hurt as many civilians as possible. In 2008 alone, Hamas fired 3,278 rockets and mortars from Gaza to Israeli cities.
3. Hamas has been firing these rockets from within densely populated areas using the Palestinian people as human shields. Mosques, hospitals, kindergartens and children are criminally being used as human shields by Hamas operatives.

Enough is enough. UN: your silence to this brings shame to your institution.

2. Hamas Mickey Mouse speaks of Islamic supremacy

If this last video and its music don’t make the hairs on your arms stand on end, you shouldn’t be reading this blog.

Schindler’s List – Theme Itzhak Perlman

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

By Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984)

 

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

P.A./Hamas to get ‘tax funds’ from Israel. Time to thank ‘the Constant’ Tony Blair

May 16, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

16th May 2011

Yesterday, after some quiet diplomatic work in the light of fast-moving circumstances in the region, the Israelis agreed to pass tax moneys to the Palestinians – [Cash transferred]

A later article at The Jerusalem Post contains this proviso:  ‘Steinitz [Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz] describes two-week freeze of cash transfer as “yellow card,” warns transfers will be stopped if unity government formed with Hamas; says he “received suitable clarifications” funds won’t reach Hamas.’

Also yesterday there was violence on Israel’s border.  It comes as Palestinians marked the ‘Nakba’ or catastrophe of Israel’s founding in 1948.  Sky News (video) reports that  – “At least 16 people have reportedly been killed after Israeli troops opened fire on protesters on the country’s borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza”.

Some might suggest that deaths on such a day, in such a region, at such a time as this were inevitable when confrontation is added to the heady mix.  Palestinians might have known that the Israelis were never likely to stand by and watch in silence while their borders were rushed and breached, and not only from one direction.

But, back to the good news.

The PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad with Tony Blair recently. Mr Blair has formed close relationships with both PA and Israeli leaders.

At the Jerusalem Post another report says that ‘An official in Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s office said they had been informed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Quartet envoy Tony Blair that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had approved the transfer.’

Again this may well  have been inevitable, given the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas, the recognition of Hamas as legitimate by some states and thus no longer a terror organisation, and given the strong likelihood that by September a Palestinian unified state may well be recognised by many countries regardless of any Israeli/Palestinian agreement.

You may recall that less than two weeks ago Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Quartet’s representative on Israeli/Palestinian issues Tony Blair were said to be “pressuring” Israel to release the tax money. The reason for initially withholding it? Fear that if Hamas could touch the money it would use it for nefarious purposes, against Israel.

In this complicated political landscape it is far from easy to work out the niceties and exactitudes of the positions taken by all those concerned. But according to this site, “apparently” the Israeli Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, decided to withhold the money that Israel collects on behalf of Palestine on his own accord. [...]  Steinitz reportedly has backing from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, but both the Defense Minister and Foreign Ministry are reportedly outraged that Steinitz did not consult them on the diplomatic and security aspects.”

Earlier this month Israel had blocked the routine handover of about 300 million shekels ($88 million) in customs and other levies it collects on behalf of the Palestinians after PA President Mahmoud Abbas struck a unity deal with Hamas.

This followed much pressure on the Israelis, but also much hand-wringing in the USA -

Top US senators call on Obama to halt funding for PA
Ban Ki-moon to PM: Release Palestinian tax revenue

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at that time he would only allow the transfer after receiving guarantees the money would not reach Hamas.

As the Middle East peace sticks then stalls, as Palestinians demonstrate with forseeable consequences on the borders of Israel and Lebanon, as George Mitchell – the US Middle East envoy, on whom so many American hopes were pinned – resigns, has anyone noticed a constant?

The constant is Tony Blair.

After almost four years in the job the former British Prime Minister is still the Quartet’s representative for Israel/Palestinian issues.  In fact he is now the ONLY diplomat of international standing working in the region on these issues.

I thought I’d just mention it in the passing,  just in case our mainstreamers forget to point it out.

This MSNBC report too seems to forget about Mr Blair. In its rush to explain that envoys mean and matter little it somehow forgets that Blair was more important than Mitchell in Ireland and ultimately in the Balkans. In its desire to suggest that envoys mean little, its report, focussing on former US envoys has this:

‘It may also have had to do with Mitchell’s failure to truly get his groove with these rough-and-tumble protagonists: He was an envoy of the type who listens and facilitates — not the kind who takes a position and twists arms.

But some say that Mitchell — skilled and experienced, with a Northern Ireland peace deal to his credit — was simply impeded by the fact that the current crop of Israeli and Palestinian leaders simply wasn’t ready.

The idea, in a wider sense, is that middlemen cannot do magic: for a deal to be possible, the stars must first align.

“Without the political will (by the parties), no mediator could manage to bridge the gaps,” said Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. negotiator and public policy scholar at the Wilson Center, a Washington-based think tank. “You could have invited Moses, Muhammad and Jesus and they would not have been able to do it right now.”‘

My response to this? If the political will of the parties are not there right now, it will never be.  if they are not “ready” now, they will never ever be.

Daniel Antal highlights Blair’s position:

Tony Blair, Fayyad, Ashton, Ben, Abbas. 13th April 2011

‘When Sen. Mitchell, the Middle East envoy of the Obama administration resigned on Friday, I immediately asked ‘what is Tony Blair doing’? In the time-frame of a single weekend, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has regained its importance in the Middle Eastern region. If the EU countries want it or not, they will have to play their part in the most complex international terrain and in the absence of Sen Mitchell they may have to rely on the services of the former British prime minister.’

And not only is Blair the only influential international statesman still working there, he has made steady but under-reported progress in the almost four years he has been in the job.

If he hadn’t been making progress satisfactory to all sides, do you think he’d still be there? Do you think President Abbas, PM Fayyad,  Israeli PM Netanyahu would have hesitated to offer to drive him back to the airport?  All of them? Or even one of them?

RELATED

1. This article,  “Why George Mitchell failed”, by TAWFIK HAMID is well worth a read. Described as an Islamic thinker and reformer, and a one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt, he was a member of the terrorist organization JI with Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became the second-in-command of al-Qaida. He is currently a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. http://www.tawfikhamid.com

Excerpt: [Remember this writer is NOT an Israeli] Wikipedia

“Obviously, it’s impossible to solve a problem without addressing and treating its true cause. Approaching the Arab-Israeli conflict from the perspective that it is about land, so that giving more land to the Palestinians will solve the problem, is a failed endeavor.

Israel has already given Egypt the whole of the Sinai, and got nothing in return except a cold peace and rising anti-Semitism in the country. Similarly the disengagement from Gaza did not magically lead to a decline in the wave of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.”

2. On 5th May Tony Blair visited the holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem

3. Tony Blair has recently participated in a TV advertisement with Benjamin Netanyahu, reminding us, and the new Arab democracy applauders that Israel is a democracy for all.

4. Beirut Spring – “Today’s deaths were not about the Nakba”

Upcoming post: ‘Any Questions? Is Tony Blair a “very, very bad man”. QTWTAIN’

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Osama bin Laden: Hamas condemns “assassination of Arab Warrior”

May 2, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

2nd May 2011

So there we are then.

Hamas mourns bin Laden’s death

If nothing else mad liberal lefties can now see Hamas for what it is -

a TERRORIST Al Qaeda/Taliban-supporting organisation.

Can we really expect to see Fatah work with these people in a unity government in Gaza and the West Bank?

Palestinian President (and Fatah leader) Mahmoud Abbas – over to you.

Back to top

Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

_______________

Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

__________
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
__________
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

Richard Goldstone admits he was WRONG on war crimes re Gaza

April 3, 2011
  • Current Latest Page
  • All Contents of Site – Index
  • New blog – The Feral Press
  • Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
  • Comment at end

    Or –

    4th April 2011

    I sincerely congratulate Richard Goldstone for having the integrity to admit he had his original Report so wrong.

    I do hope others whose opinions on Israel are way out of line with the actual truth will read this and at least take it on board. Their ingrained bias will in most cases refuse to permit them to change their minds, but even to read it, for many, would be a step in the right direction.

    [cross-post] – I have taken the liberty of bolding certain sections below:

    Washington Post: Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes

    By Richard Goldstone, Friday, April 1, 8:42 PM

    We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

    The final report by the U.N. committee of independent experts — chaired by former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis — that followed up on the recommendations of the Goldstone Report has found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza” while “the de facto authorities (i.e., Hamas) have not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.”

    Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.

    The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.

    For example, the most serious attack the Goldstone Report focused on was the killing of some 29 members of the al-Simouni family in their home. The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack. While the length of this investigation is frustrating, it appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly. The purpose of these investigations, as I have always said, is to ensure accountability for improper actions, not to second-guess, with the benefit of hindsight, commanders making difficult battlefield decisions.

    While I welcome Israel’s investigations into allegations, I share the concerns reflected in the McGowan Davis report that few of Israel’s inquiries have been concluded and believe that the proceedings should have been held in a public forum. Although the Israeli evidence that has emerged since publication of our report doesn’t negate the tragic loss of civilian life, I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.

    Israel’s lack of cooperation with our investigation meant that we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants. The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas (although Hamas may have reason to inflate the number of its combatants).

    As I indicated from the very beginning, I would have welcomed Israel’s cooperation. The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove a foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the original mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was skewed against Israel. I have always been clear that Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within. Something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations. I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.

    Some have charged that the process we followed did not live up to judicial standards. To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

    Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

    In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds.

    I continue to believe in the cause of establishing and applying international law to protracted and deadly conflicts. Our report has led to numerous “lessons learned” and policy changes, including the adoption of new Israel Defense Forces procedures for protecting civilians in cases of urban warfare and limiting the use of white phosphorus in civilian areas. The Palestinian Authority established an independent inquiry into our allegations of human rights abuses — assassinations, torture and illegal detentions — perpetrated by Fatah in the West Bank, especially against members of Hamas. Most of those allegations were confirmed by this inquiry. Regrettably, there has been no effort by Hamas in Gaza to investigate the allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

    Simply put, the laws of armed conflict apply no less to non-state actors such as Hamas than they do to national armies. Ensuring that non-state actors respect these principles, and are investigated when they fail to do so, is one of the most significant challenges facing the law of armed conflict. Only if all parties to armed conflicts are held to these standards will we be able to protect civilians who, through no choice of their own, are caught up in war.

    The writer, a retired justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former chief prosecutor of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, chaired the U.N. fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict.

    __________

    Related

    Back to top

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    _______________

    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    Recent comments:

    I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

    __________
    The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
    __________
    Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

    Peter Reynolds excuses terrorism. Louise Bagshawe MP does not

    March 25, 2011
  • Current Latest Page
  • All Contents of Site – Index
  • New blog – The Feral Press
  • Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
  • Comment at end

    Or –

    25th March 2011

    ‘MY OL’ MATE’ LOSES HIS BALANCE


    SKEWING THE TRUTH

    [You might want to click here to read what shocked Louise Bagshawe and then pop back up here. This post is mainly around Peter Reynolds, for obvious reasons]

    I really don’t know where to start on this one. I kind of like Peter. Or at least I thought I did.

    We don’t know each other personally but in our online communications we have left comments at our respective blogs. And since, unlike a lot of extremists,  he doesn’t want to hang Tony Blair (thank God for that! I have enough of that lot to fight off) and he does realise that there are issues with at least some elements of Islam, I’ve kind of taken to him. Or so I thought.

    He’s a talented man. A published author he is presently writing a novel which is timely and sounds intriguing.  And he is a prime mover, in fact recently elected leader of a new political group/party dedicated to legalising cannabis.  So he isn’t short of a brain cell.  I assume. His book might just pay for his lost deposit. But that’s for him to worry about.

    But Peter’s rant here Nazionist Thugs Hide Behind Gaddafi is beyond belief.

    Beneath contempt. Unbelievably naive. Discreditable balderdash. Historically ignorant. Deplorable. Potentially perilous. And above all very, very worrying.

    Any pretence at balance has been skewed into oblivion in this post of his.  In my time I’ve been accused by one or two oddballs of being racist, and I won’t stoop so low as to accuse Peter of the same.  But he has clearly swallowed the left-wing worldview of Israel without letting it touch the insides of his cheeks. He hasn’t chewed on it long enough to spit it out in disgust.  He certainly hasn’t allowed his taste buds to linger on the poisonous effect on his intellectual digestive system.

    I could link to umpteen sources which would prove (though how can one prove anything to made-up minds?) that Peter is wrong in this determined effort to show Israel bad/illegitimate and the Palestinians good/victimised. There is little point.  Peter wouldn’t read them. Of course he expects that those who think Israel is by and large a good thing, should read any links he and like minds send us ‘proving’ the opposite and be instantly converted to the truth and the light. Won’t happen, Peter.

    In case you missed his post, let me offer some snippets and a light-touch analysis. (Yes, this is my go at “light touch”.)

    To get started it’s best if I let his words speak for themselves.

    THE DEPTHS OF EXTREMIST VIEWS

    Like all of us Peter has a right to take extreme positions.  I’ve been accused of the same myself.  It’s clearly the height of evil insanity and possibly dangerous to the future of mankind to actually believe in someone, since we all know the very purpose of blogs is to be ANTI. Worse still when a blog has the audacity to support someone who has spent most of his adult life serving his country! Good Lord! Whatever next? Democracy a la Arab Spring?

    But my time-consuming pastime aside, I have to tell you that I take gut-wrenching exception to those taking an extreme anti position towards Israel and Israelis, variously described thus by Peter -

    • “vicious Nazionist warmongers”
    • “Nazionist Israel is a foul slur on humanity”
    • “The Israelis are the real terrorists”
    • “Israeli fascists”
    • “they are the most despicable bullies in the Middle East.”
    • “Most of the responsibility for the human misery is theirs.”

    It evades me completely how Peter does not see that he is condemned by his own writings.  In response to a commenter he says -

    • “It [Israel] is the greatest single force of evil in the world.”

    That means it’s worse than “The Great Satan” – pre-Obama, of course.

    To another commenter, he says this -

    • “In my opinion, your perspective is biased, unjust, pompous, self-righteous and false. Nevertheless you’re welcome to come here and debate. [...] I really am surprised and disappointed in you. You’ve let yourself down.”

    Reading this, the words pot-kettle-black leapt into mind.

    CONTEMPTIBLE GRAUNIAD MORAL RELATIVISM

    If it wasn’t Peter Reynolds saying this I’d assume I’d accidentally wandered into the contemptible moral relativistic world of the everyday home-loving folks at Guardianisto Comment is Free Numptyland. I’d then treat it with the contempt it would deserve.

    In case you didn’t realise how in-tune he is with many in this country, Peter has had plenty of supportive comments at his site. But this comment would not have pleased him:

    Peter I feel as the head of the LCA its important that you have some sense of neutrality on such sensitive political issues that have nothing to do with cannabis, or you risk aliening your members, some of who voted for you!!!
    You mention in your rant that two Palestinian children were killed by shells. You don’t mention the family that was slaughter in there beds the youngest being a little baby.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8402973/A-family-slaughtered-in-Israel-doesnt-the-BBC-care.html

    And he gets quite uppity to an American commenter who leaves him with this link from the viewpoint of a Palestinian – ‘The concept of the “evil Jew” has made a well-disguised comeback: Criticizing Israel and Zionists, is now deemed a legitimate option to cursing Jews and Judaism. Not only is it open, socially acceptable and legal, but it can actually bring prosperity and popularity.’

    In all fairness, Peter, Mudar Zahran (a Palestinain from Jordan) has your number. Read it, Peter. Then, take a long look in the mirror. http://www.hudson-ny.org/1979/anti-semitism-20

    Peter responds most politely(?) -

    “What is it with you pro-zionist, self-righteous smartarses? Have you forgotten your manners or have you just completely lost the ability to debate the issue rather than make personal attacks?”

    Manners? Personally I don’t quite see how that is “forgetting manners” considering what prejudiced bilge the  commenter is responding to.  Debate is hardly necessary when one reads the article from the Palestinian; “when one reads” being the operative phrase.

    DESPERATE SUICIDE BOMBERS … UNDERSTANDABLE … COURAGEOUS

    But if you think this know-all diatribe of argued reason as to why Israel is to blame for the world’s problems may be a touch reprehensible, take a look at this, also from Peter:

    • “Suicide bombing is a desperate but understandable response.  The courage of the Palestinian martyrs who choose this route is beyond doubt.”

    I don’t know about you but I denounce ANY sort of suicide bombing MURDER. “Martyr” themselves if they must, but not others for company on the journey.

    But to make sure we know he knows what he’s talking about Peter opines -

    • “Israel is responsible for far more death and misery and oppression than Gaddafi.”

    And just to prove he is a man of peace and love and that he wishes no one any personal harm, he states -

    • “We should be dropping Tomahawk missiles on Netanyahu’s head and on his airfields and war machinery.”

    But if none of the above gets your juices flowing, which it won’t if you also suffer from Reynolds Raddled Brain Syndrome, Peter tops it all with this -

    • “Nazionist Israel is a foul slur on humanity and the spineless Americans and British politicians who fail to defend Palestine are every bit as criminal as Gaddafi.”

    So that’s you told, evil, criminal allies of Israel. In other words most of the west.

    __________

    Lest Peter and I are about to fall out over, well, something or other, let me just say this -

    NAZIONISM… ME OL’ MATE, ME OL’ CHUM… DOESN’T EXIST

    Today’s ‘Nazis’ are not the people in a state which holds its politicians accountable under the law. Recently a former Israeli prime minister was indicted in a court of law on corruption charges and a former president was imprisoned for seven years on sex charges. Does that happen in “Nazi” states?

    Today’s ‘Nazis’ are not the people who have been rocket-attacked for years while the world blamed the victims and not the perpetrators.

    Today’s ‘Nazis’, Peter, are the Islamist fundamentalists and YOU know it. They are not the residents of the only state in the Middle East that is a fully fledged, mature democracy where all citizens, Palestinians included, have the vote.

    Today’s ‘Nazis’ are people who belong to an ‘…ism’ which has not sufficiently discouraged this -

    __________

    Pause for breath … breathe deeply

    __________

    I pause before sending you to this site, OR DIRECTLY TO the video here. It is utterly sickening and for more than one reason, truly horrific. Please do not go there if your stomach isn’t iron-clad. You’ve been warned. (Source - “Al Qaeda’s Agenda: Recruit (Kill) the Children”)

    WARNING. THE MOST GRAPHIC AND SHOCKING VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN. AND BELIEVE ME I’VE SEEN FAR TOO MANY VIDEOS FROM MEMBERS OF THIS “ISM”

    __________

    __________

    LOUISE BAGSHAWE, MP

    I am particularly grateful to a website called Honest Reporting. It pointed me to an article by this MP – Louise Bagshawe  – who actually noticed that the publicly funded BBC failed to mention this slaughter of an Israeli baby, two of her brothers and their parents. From Honest Reporting – Reuters redefines terrorist attack

    Reuters seems to be cut from the same mould as the Beeb; ignoring or spinning. Irresponsible behaviour.

    Yesterday Ms Bagshawe asked this at The Telegraph:

    ‘A family slaughtered in Israel – doesn’t the BBC care?’

    She referred particularly to one of the murdered children, Elad, at four years old, the same age as one of her own children.

    I could have told her the answer to her question.

    NO!  NO! NO!!! The BBC doesn’t care. Like the Guardian it reports nothing that might elucidate the minds of the anti-Israel brainwashed. These barbaric murders weren’t mentioned on BBC1’s Question Time,  Radio 4’s Any Questions or  BBC2’s Newsnight. Nor did it merit a one-minute slot on the BBC’s 24-hour news.

    The picture below shows little Elad after he was found with multiple stab wounds and his throat cut.

    What kind of animals can do this to this innocent child and his brother and their baby sister, a few months old, as well as their parents? The murderer(s) did not even have the “courage” to “martyr” themselves, Peter. [More of this family's slaughter here]

    Louise Bagshawe:

    “Who is Tamar Fogel? The chances are that you will have no idea. She is a 12-year-old girl who arrived home late on Friday, March 11, to discover her family had been slaughtered. Her parents had been stabbed to death; the throat of her 11-year-old brother, Yoav, had been slit. Her four-year-old brother, Elad, whose throat had also been cut, was still alive, with a faint pulse, but medics were unable to save him. Tamar’s sister, Hadas, three months old, had also been killed. Her head had been sawn off.

    There were two other Fogel brothers sleeping in an adjacent room. When woken by their big sister trying to get into a locked house, Roi, aged six, let her in. After Tamar discovered the bodies, her screaming alerted their neighbour who rushed in to help and described finding two-year-old Yishai desperately shaking his parents’ blood-soaked corpses, trying to wake them up.

    I found out about the barbaric attack not on BBC news, but via Twitter on Monday. I followed a link there to a piece by Mark Steyn entitled “Dead Jews is no news’. Horrified, I went to the BBC website to find out more. There I discovered only two stories: one a cursory description of the incident in Itamar, a West Bank settlement, and another focusing on Israel’s decision to build more settlements, which mentioned the killings in passing.

    Like many of us, I consider the BBC to be a national treasure. I am not a BBC basher; I have never before complained. I do not support nor do I condone the Israeli settlement building. But none of that matters. This is a story about three children and their parents, slain with incredible cruelty, and its effect on the peace process. As a mother, I am shocked at the silence. As a politician, I am dismayed at the apparent bias and indifference. Yes, I will be filing a complaint – about a story I never heard. I hope Daily Telegraph readers will join me.” [More here]

    Louise Bagshawe is MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire

    Back to start

    __________

    Forget crooked politicians, Peter, we are being manipulated by a crowd of uncaring, dishonest and dishonourable  journalists and broadcasters of the ultra-left anti-Israel faction.

    I know I shouldn’t be feeling grateful that ONE MP has mentioned it. (Tony Blair condemned it too, but he’s no longer an MP. )  Apart from Ms Bagshawe and Mr Blair no other public figure seems to give a damn. They sure as hell noticed!

    I should be bloody furious. And I am. Ms Bagshawe is a new MP and has not been around long enough to understand that mention anything which shows sympathy, even empathy for Israel and its people and you’re out of the promotion running. Yes, even in the Conservative party.

    Still, this is a start. It means that at least ONE of our MPs is noticing BBC bias.  She is almost alone.

    Also from Honest Reporting – Stories the media missed

    Back to top

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    _______________

    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    Recent comments:

    I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

    __________
    The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
    __________
    Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.