[R-G] Fwd: An Al Quds day letter to Tony Blair from his sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, in Iran
Suzanne de Kuyper
suzannedk at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 03:37:59 MDT 2010
Rather cheap, cute-smart sarcasm that the subject does not deserve being far
more serious, but will help bring down the inflammatory temperature of the
E.U. watchers of the micro-managing of organized corporate mendacity.
Important attempt to affect something, just not sure what. Suzanne
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sid Shniad <shniad at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Sep 11, 2010 at 12:10 AM
Subject: An Al Quds day letter to Tony Blair from his sister-in-law, Lauren
Booth, in Iran
* An Al Quds day letter to Tony Blair. From Lauren Booth, in Iran.
By Lauren Booth
3 September 2010*
Congratulations on your political memoir becoming an instant bestseller. I’m
in Iran and have the only copy in the country. I can tell you, its so
fiercely fought over, it’s worth its weight in WMD’s. Note to Random House;
have ‘A Journey’ translated into Farsi and Arabic asap, it’ll fly off the
shelves in this part of the world.
Tony, yesterday I went the Al Quds day protest in Tehran. You may have heard
of it? It’s the rally where Iranians gather to protest against Israel’s
illegal occupation of Palestine, including the Holy city of Jerusalem.
I’m being sarcastic by asking if you’ve heard of Al Quds day, because I know
you have. It is your very worst nightmare right? After all Tehran is the
place where politics and Islam intertwine.
Personally I’ve never understood this fear of ‘political Islam’ it seems to
me that religious people should always be educated on world events rather
than kept in ignorance. Like say, Mid West Christian Zionists in the US The
kind of folk who can’t find their home city on a map of their state but re
certain they hate Islam even if their not sure whether its a type of curry
or a foreign make of veh-ic-ule.
Anyway, yesterday, I stood in the midst of more than one million Iranian
Muslims all chanting in unison ‘Marg Bar Isre-hell!’ and ‘Marg Bar
Am-ri-ca!’ You know what that means Tony I’m sure ; ‘Down with Israel, down
with America’. The men, women and children around me withstood a day of no
water and no food (it’s called Ramadan, Tony, it’s a fast). Coping with
hunger and thirst in the hundred degrees heat, as if it were nothing. They
can withstand deprivation in the Muslim world. Here in Iran they feel
proud to suffer in order to express solidarity with the people of
Palestine. It's kind of like the way you express solidarity with America
only without illegal chemical weapons and a million civilian deaths.
Some mothers at the rally wept, not out of hatred for ‘the West’ but out of
empathy for the mothers of Rafah, Khan Younis, Nablus and Jenin. Do you
recognise these place names Tony, as Middle East peace envoy you really
should. Israel has massacred children in all of these cities in recent
years. Didn’t you know?
Today when the streets of London reverberate with cries of ‘Allahuakbar!’
and ‘Down Down Israel.’ Christians and Jews will join the thunderous cries
of ‘Down Down Israel, marching shoulder to shoulder with the ‘political’
Muslims you say you fear so much.
Perhaps you believe that I am in danger in Iran, especially on a day like Al
Quds. Well here again Tony, you’ve been fed and have consumed in its
entirety, a massive lie. The lie that says when Muslims express an opinion
in groups, in public, it is always spurred on by hatred of 'us' infidels.
As if all protests that are led by Muslim communities are a kind of long
held grudge against the Crusades.
Perhaps they should be more, not less angry here than they are Tony. Because
having read the postcript to your bestseller its clear you are on a modern
The ‘conflict’ between Palestine and Israel is according to you all about
religion and has nothing at all to do with the ethnic cleansing of the Arab
population, nor the degredation of those who remain beneath the boots of
their Israeli occupiers. You say that Arabs have and always will see ‘Jews’
as enemies. For God’s sake Tony do your history. And if you’re going to run
a ‘Faith Foundation’ then better gen up on Islam 101 don’t you think? Did
your pals in Tel Aviv forget to tell you how many thousands of Jews lived in
Historic Palestine in harmony with their Arab neighbours before 1948? Do you
really not know that even today tens of thousand of Jews reside contentedly
I’ve sat with Muslim families, those whose children have been burned by
Israeli/US phosphorous bombs. Those who are still suffering hunger due to
the Israel siege of Gaza. Those who have lived through the early days of
sanctions against Iran when they needed food vouchers just to live. And
every single Muslim in these suffering families has the same message ; ‘We
don’t hate anyone for their race or their religion. We cannot hate Jews they
are in our holy book it is against the teachings of the Koran.’ But Tony let
me ask you this. Why should any people, Muslim or otherwise, be expected to
put up with this kind of constant threats from you and your bosses in Tel
Aviv and Washington? Do you have any understanding of what it is like to
live in Gaza? Under siege, attacked with chemical weapons, your children’s
schools razed to the ground by Israeli missiles, your hospitals shelled,
your electricity limited, your water undrinkable?
Actually Tony I think you are a sypathetic person. I actually think that you
do feel twinges of pain at the hardships suffered by millions in the Middle
East as a direct result of your support for Israel. Then you put that
feeling to one side, because on a fundamental level - you think 'they'
deserve it don't you?
In your book you say you knew full well how many Beirut homes were
flattened, how many civilians died in Lebanon in 2006. Yet you dismiss
Lebanese rage about Israeli occupation of ‘Shebas Farm’ as being an
irrelevance, about a ‘tiny’ amount of land. You cannot see it as part of the
constant pressure on Lebanese society as a whole by their heavily armed
aggressive Israeli neighbour. You see it as: ‘Israel is attacked. Israel
strikes back.’ As if Israel lives in placid peace, being kindly to all
around it in between these massacres.
As other world leaders came out to demand Israel immediately cease its 2006
bombing raids on Lebanese cities, you stayed silent.
‘If I had condemned Israel’ you say in your book ‘I would have been more
than dishonest. It would have undermined my world view.’
Your world view is that Muslims, are mad, bad, dangerous to know. A
contagion to be contained. Your final chapter is a must read here in the
Middle East Tony, congratulations! For it lays out the ‘them’ and ‘us’
agenda of your friends in Washington and Tel Aviv.
In the final chapter you say; ‘we need a religious counter attack’ against
Islam. And by ‘Islam’ you mean the Al Quds rallies, the Palestinian intifada
(based on an anti Apartheid struggle Tony, NOT religious bigotry), against
every Arab who fails to put their arms in the air as the F16 missiles rain
on their homes and refugee camps andsing a rousing chorus of ‘Imagine all
When you say ‘extremism’ must be ‘controlled and beaten’ you mean that you
and your kind of morally bankrupt (but filthy rich) world leader wants
control over the rising solidarity spreading through the Ummah and being
joined by activist of all creeds on the streets of Paris, London, Bradford,
‘Not only extremism must be defeated’ you have written but ‘the narrative' '
has to be assailed.’
Iran is indeed the place where Islamic tradition meets political action.
They are highly aware of the history of this region, the wrongs perpetrated
by Israel against Palestine and the political machinations of the US and the
UK governments to isolate them.. All thing considered and nice as the people
have been during my stay. I wouldn't recommend coming over on a book tour
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