You know that one really embarrassing relative you wish you didn’t have? Well, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has one of those, too.
Her name is Lauren Booth, and she is a pro-Palestinian activist and journalist working for Iran’s English language TV channel. And she happens to be Blair’s sister-in-law (Booth is Blair’s wife Cherie’s half-sister).
It must be more than a bit awkward for Blair, a long-time supporter of Israel and Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia, to know that Booth was out in London’s Trafalgar Square this past Sunday calling for Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to march on Jerusalem and liberate it from Israel — a nation she says does not exist.
Blogger Richard Millett wrote that Booth pledged her support to Hamas at the rally organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and declared from the podium, surrounded by placards with slogans like “Israel Your Days Are Numbered” and “For World Peace, Israel Must Be Destroyed.”
“It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds [Jerusalem] to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”
Halachically speaking, the 44-year-old Booth (whose given name is actually Sarah) was born a Jew, since her mother was Jewish (a Cohen, no less). She was not raised with any Jewish practice, and she converted to Islam last year.
Poor Tony Blair. While the rest of us may have an aunt that kisses us too much, a loud uncle with horrible table manners, or a cousin with questionable business dealings, he’s got an embarrassing relative of an entirely different sort.
And if the former P.M. is anything like the rest of us, he’ll probably try to distance himself from her by emphasizing that she’s from his wife’s side of the family.