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May 29, 2014 8:49 pm

Tony Blair Sister-in-Law Lauren Booth Slammed for ‘Anti-Semitic’ Tweet

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Lauren Booth's controversial Twitter exchange. Photo: Screenshot.

Lauren Booth's controversial Twitter exchange. Photo: Screenshot.

British columnist Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister and current Quartet Representative to Jerusalem, writes for The Mail on Sunday and works for Iran’s pro-regime satellite news channel, Press TV.

On Thursday, Booth burnished her anti-Jewish notoriety in a Twitter exchange, and was called out by watchdog group Honest Reporting for her “long and disturbing track record when it comes to Israel.”

In 2008, Honest Reporting awarded Booth its Dishonest Reporter of the Year prize for her commentary on Gaza, where, despite photographs she posed for at a well-stocked local supermarket, Booth claimed Israel was the cause of famine on the scale of Darfur or Nazi Europe.

On Thursday, Honest Reporting flagged her Twitter exchange with Canadian Ryan Bellerose, an advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples, including Jews, he pointed out.

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Bellerose wrote: “I believe in civil and human rights for all people, but I advocate for indigenous rights, the Jews are an indigenous people.”

Booth responded, and included Honest Reporting’s handle in her tweet: “you’re right they are indigenous to Eastern Europe.”

In a note on the watchdog’s website entitled ‘Lauren Booth’s Anti-Semitic Tweet to HonestReporting’, the group said, “The claim that Jews are ‘indigenous to Eastern Europe’ is similar to that most often promoted by anti-Semites who assert that the Jews are descendants of the ancient Khazar region of what is now Eastern Europe and Southern Russia. This is employed as a means to disprove the ancestral connection of Ashkenazi Jews to Israel.”

Historians point to the arrival of Jews in Eastern Europe as a result of a mass emigration from Spain, in the midst of the Spanish Inquisition, in 1492, when the Catholic Monarchs decided to oust Jews and Muslims as a way of uniting the Spanish principalities around common enemies.

Many of the Jews went South, across the Straights of Gibraltar, to North Africa and the Magreb, later becoming known as the Mizrahi Jews, or as Sephardic, meaning from Sefarad, or Spain.

The other contingent went North, through France and Germany, and then to the ‘Pale of the Settlement,’ an area on the border of Poland and Ukraine. The Jews of Germany, there since at least the 10th or 11th centuries, were known as the Ashkenazi, or German, Jews, accounting for 3 percent of world Jewry in the 11th century, and 92 per cent, or 16.7 million people, before World War II.

Lauren Booth at a well-stocked Gaza supermarket that she claimed was barren of food. Photo: Honest Reporting.

Lauren Booth at a well-stocked Gaza supermarket that she claimed was barren of food. Photo: Honest Reporting.

“Lauren Booth’s tweet isn’t surprising but it is nonetheless disgusting,” Honest Reporting said. “We’d call for her to be fired by those media outlets that she appears on. But Iranian Press TV and the Islam Channel are probably not too concerned. [AP journalist] Helen Thomas was fired for telling Israelis to ‘go back to Poland.’ Booth will probably get a bonus…”

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