Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Just what is the"Peace Envoy" Tony Blair doing to usher in peace in Gaza?

I submitted this letter to the Guardian, but they chose not to publish it. 
Even though I agree with your policy of publishing a range of views on your Comment and Debate pages, I found those  put forward by Michael Herzog (“A  necessary show of force,” 11 July) as most offensive.

I found particularly nauseating his observation “Regrettably, there are innocent Palestinian casualties. But those who blame the casualties on "disproportionate" Israeli actions must suggest what would be a "proportionate" response to hundreds of rocket.
Perhaps holding such callous views may be expected from someone who was a senior officer in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)  and chief of staff to Israel’s minister of defence.
As Israeli ministers and IDF always assert they target only “terrorists” and are extremely careful to avoid civilians, perhaps Herog and his military colleagues could offer an explanation for the murder by Israeli armaments of a group of 10 Palestinian football fans watching the World Cup at a Gaza seaside café; the family of seven, including children, immolated by another "precision guided “ Israeli weapon in Khan Younis and the over 60 other civilians, including many children, killed by the Israeli high tech bombardment this week alone.(reports, 11 July)
In the same time period, not a single Israeli citizen has been killed or even injured by the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Hamas.
An Early Day Motion (EDM 246) tabled in Parliament on 9 July by  Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn points out that “in this wholly unequal cycle of violence 490 Palestinians  (including over 300 children "terrorists") in Gaza have been killed by Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009” and that  Palestinian writer and health worker Mona Elfarra  reports the “targeting of health centres including the European Hospital East of Khan Younis where many were both suffering and sheltering”   and calls on the Government “to do everything within its power to bring about an end to the collective punishment of Palestinians and the occupation that is a virtual death sentence for them”
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn’s former party leader, Tony Blair, now the so-called Quartet Envoy to the middle east, who is charged in bring about peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as promoting economic development for Palestinians, has not uttered a single word since 2 July on his web site (
I find this both incomprehensible and reprehensive, as President Obama and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon have offered to intervene to halt the killing of Palestinians. What is Mr Blair doing?

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