Where was Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair last week as Israel invaded Gaza and committed horrific war crimes, killing
over 1000 Palestinians, 80 percent of them civilians, 200 of them children?
Not at his official residence and office in the millionaires’ row of East [al-Quds] Jerusalem, which costs £750,000 a year, and
from where he directs his somewhat less than successful efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
And what was Tony Blair doing, as Israel bombed hospitals, schools, centres for the disabled, and UN shelters to which
180,000 civilians fled — as at least 1000 homes were turned to rubble by random bombardment? What was he doing as the
people in 46 percent of Gaza were warned by Israel to evacuate — without any indication of where they could go — or face
being slaughtered by the world’s fifth most powerful military force?
What has been the Middle East’s Peace Envoy’s only visible contribution to finding a peaceful resolution to the carnage we
have witnessed since 6 July, when Israel escalated its merciless attack on 1.8 million defenceless people, held captive by an
inhumane siege, which for seven years has left them starved of food, clean water and essential resources, including
The only sighting has been his appearances on television in which his one purpose seems to be to repeat endlessly that he
supports “Israel’s right to defend itself”. By killing 200 children? is never the repost by his interviewers, least of all on the
BBC, which, like Tony Blair, is a fully signed up contributor to Israel’s propaganda campaign justifying crimes against
So has the peace envoy been active behind the scenes, working tirelessly to bring the carnage to an end?
As far as we know, his only behind the scenes activity has been to act as messenge-boy for the scam Egyptian “ceasefire
proposal,” which was actually hatched in Washington, with the terms drafted by Israel. Tony Blair’s errand was to deliver the
proposal to US-backed Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, for him then to announce it as his initiative. The Middle East
peace envoy, whose role is supposedly intended to mediate between warring parties in the region, didn’t consider showing
the ceasefire proposal to Hamas, which only learnt of it from the media and understandably rejected it as a one-sided
demand to surrender. As Israel based journalist Jonathan Cook wrote:
The corporate media swallowed the line of Israel accepting the “ceasefire proposal” and Hamas rejecting it. What Hamas did
was reject a US-Israeli diktat to sign away the rights of the people of Gaza to end a siege that cuts them off from the rest of
Tony Blair was the natural choice to be the US and Israeli emissary to the Egyptian dictator el-Sisi, who came to power in a
military coup last year that toppled the democratically elected government of President Mohamed Morsi. The Sisi regime is
estimated to have killed more than 2,500 protesters and jailed more than 20,000. But that didn’t stop Blair at the beginning of
July agreeing to “advise” the Egyptian dictator in a deal which is said to promise huge “business opportunities.”
Not for the first time, Blair is blurring the lines between his public position as peace envoy and his private business dealings
in the Middle East. Which is why a group of former British ambassadors and political figures joined a campaign to call for
Blair to be sacked as Middle East envoy.
So where was Tony Blair last week, as the world watched in horror as Israel invaded Gaza with complete disregard for
international and humanitarian law?
He was in the United Kingdom.
And what was his prime activity last week? It was planning a surprise 60th birthday party for his wife Cherie. Why she
needed one to coincide with the news that Israel’s mass murder in Gaza had passed 1000 is not clear, as her 60th birthday
isn’t actually due till September.
But there was the Middle East peace envoy on Friday 25 July, partying at a cost of £50,000 in his £6 million mansion, with
150 political cronies, wealthy businessmen and minor celebrities.
The next day, over 60,000 protesters brought central London to a standstill, calling for the Gaza massacre to stop. Many
thousands more demonstrated in towns and cities throughout the UK. And across the world, from San Francisco to Tel Aviv,
on every continent, demonstrations called for an end to the killing, the siege to be lifted and Palestine to be free.
There is an ever-growing worldwide outrage that Israel is allowed with impunity to get away with such barbarity. As the
Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow put it: “Were any other country on Earth doing what is being done in Gaza, there would
be worldwide uproar.”
And the response of Tony Blair, the Middle East peace envoy: “Israel has the right to defend itself.” Time to party.