I am sure you are already aware of the fact that Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth is stuck in Gaza. She has certainly raised enough of a stink about it, and the mainstream media are more than willing to publish her complaints.
What really interests me about this story is not the fact this woman is Tony Blair’s sister-in-law. It is what she reveals about her mindset.
Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, who arrived in Gaza with a boatload of activists protesting an Israeli blockade last month, said Tuesday she was stranded because both Israel and Egypt had denied her entry.
Lauren Booth, sister of the former British prime minister’s wife Cherie, revealed her predicament as Blair visited the region to further Western-backed efforts to achieve a limited Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Booth was one of 44 foreign “Free Gaza” activists who set sail from Cyprus, docking in Gaza last month, and was one of 10 who remained when the others sailed back to Cyprus on Friday.
Israel allowed the activists to dock in Gaza on August 23 despite its blockade of the coastal territory since Hamas Islamists, who oppose Israel’s existence, seized control last year.
Booth said she has tried unsuccessfully over the past few days to leave through Gaza’s land crossings with Israel and Egypt.
“I tried through the proper channels, through the United Kingdom’s embassy, but I was told I was not allowed to come through,” she said after trying in vain to enter Israel.
An Israel Defense Forces spokesman, Peter Lerner, confirmed Israel had denied Booth entry, saying there was a policy of refusing entry to anyone from Gaza who did not get there via Israel.
“There is no possibility to let in those people who entered by the sea. They cannot enter Israel,” Lerner said.
Egypt would not let Booth through its Rafah terminal with Gaza on Saturday. She was turned away along with two other activists, Booth said.
“We were all turned back by the Egyptians,” she said, adding that she had received no explanation but had “heard through contacts Egypt was under pressure from Israel to act that way.”
Israel has eased some restrictions on Gaza since an Egyptian-brokered truce in June that has largely stopped rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
But land crossings have remained largely shut to some 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza.
Booth said diplomatic efforts were still being made to permit her to leave. “Thanks to Israel for letting us feel a real taste of Gazan life,” she added.
In other words, even though Egypt has also refused her passage, she refuses to apportion any “blame” to them, and will only blame Israel. If Egypt refuses, then they were obviously instructed to do so by Israel. And it is only Israel that has allowed her to “feel a real taste of Gazan life”, even though Egypt also shares a border with Gaza.
I have a strong feeling that Lauren Booth – and many, if not all, of her fellow Free Gaza tools – are more about hating Israel than loving the palestinians.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
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