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Tony Blair on Work Release

The Peace Envoy

by GILAD ATZMON

What a great day for peace enthusiasts! A new envoy to the Middle East has been appointed for the Quartet, and it’s no other than the former British PM, Tony Blair. Blair, the man who gave the Israelis the green light to flatten Beirut. Blair, the man who started an illegal war in Iraq. Blair, a man who, according to the Geneva Conventions, is to be held personally responsible for more than 700,000 dead in Iraq for failing to ‘protect civilian populations against certain consequences of war [1]. A man who is supposed to be charged for genocide at The Hague. That’s right, a man who should end his life behind bars is now becoming a peace envoy.

Maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. Seemingly, his partner from Washington may have sussed it all out. It is rather possible that when peace is at stake, it is actually the warmongers, the bloodthirsty criminals, the men who know no mercy and compassion who may provide the goods. At the end of the day, a rapist may know more about sex abuse than an innocent detached judge. We should never forget that for the Bushman, even Sharon, the mass killer from Sabra and Shatila was nothing less than a ‘Man of Peace’.

Who knows the truth of such complicated matters? It is rather possible that Bush is correct. It is feasible that pouring blood in such a vast quantity may have qualified Blair to be a peacemaker. Yet, there is a slight problem here. Just a marginal issue that should be addressed before Blair lands in Gaza International Docks or Ramallah’s busy Heliport. The democratically elected Hamas, the party who was voted by the Palestinian people isn’t really happy with the new envoy. If I could have a word with him, I would say, "You see Mr Blair, as things stand it is actually Hamas you have to talk to. And what about the Lebanese, did you think about them Mr Blair? Will they welcome to their country the man who just less than a year ago enthusiastically approved the total destruction of their country’s infrastructure, capital and southern regions."

"Thus, I have a little suggestion for you, Mr. Blair. Just before you become a dove, just on your way to your first peace mission, pop over to The Hague for a few days, put yourself on trail. Prove to us and our brothers in the region that you are indeed a man of harmony and peace. You shouldn’t be too worried, you always believed in what you were doing. You always claimed to believe that liberating the Iraqi people was the right thing to do. You believed as well that destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure would bring stability to the region. You believed that dismissing the democratically elected Palestinian Government was an act of humanism."

Don’t cave in, Mr. Ex-PM, you can have your two closest friends beside you. You will probably appoint Lord Goldsmith to fight your legal battle. He’d be on your side, when it comes down to it, he was the man who gave you the legal approval to start your ‘little’ illegal war. You shouldn’t worry about money either. Lord Levy, your No 1 Fundraiser will take care of the costs. Now when your New Labour’s under-the-table trading with those giving loans so that they could be nominated peers has become public knowledge, there is nothing to be afraid of."

I am sure that by the time our dearly beloved, newly born dove will be vindicated by the international court of Justice, he will be far more effective as a peace maker. He may even be the first to bridge the gap between the foes in the region. This is an opportunity we cannot miss and even if he fails this shouldn’t be a major concern, Baba Bush can always appoint him as the new Iraqi Prime Minister. I do not think Blair will be missed but he will be remembered.

A further thought struck me while I was summoning up my words to Mr Blair: if it is true that he is really the new Middle East Peace Envoy, then I would like to apply for an appropriate roll for myself. I am hoping to become the Chief Rabbi of Britain.

[1] Geneva Convention, PART II-GENERAL PROTECTION OF POPULATIONS AGAINST CERTAIN CONSEQUENCES OF WAR, article 13-The provisions of Part II cover the whole of the populations of the countries in conflict, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion, and are intended to alleviate the sufferings caused by war.

GILAD ATZMON was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. His recent CD, Exile, was named the year’s best jazz CD by the BBC. He now lives in London and can be reached at: atz@onetel.net.uk