At a rally of 10,000 Muslim men in England last week, Lauren Booth called to Israel: “You are the criminals that we detest!”

Booth, sister of the wife of UK Middle East envoy Tony Blair, spoke at an anti-Israel rally held last Sunday, Jan. 11, in the large town of Blackburn, 35 kilometers north of Manchester. An estimated 10,000 people, mostly young Muslim men, were in attendance.

Sources in England report that the rally was totally ignored by national media, including the BBC, despite the fact that it was “probably the largest Islamic protest march in the UK since the Bradford book-burnings against Salman Rushdie and free speech twenty years ago.” So writes far-right politician Nick Griffin.

Booth fired up the crowd by calling for the closing of the Israeli Embassy in London, accusing Israel of “blasting” women and children with chemical weapons, and exhorting the Moslem community to “bring 40,000” to their next anti-Israel protest in “the middle of your city.”

“Today we are all Palestinians,” Booth ranted. “We will fight for you and your children! And we have a message to you, Israel. You’re finished. That’s it. No more stories about self-defense. No, no, that’s over. You – you are the nation of hate! And you are the criminals – that we detest! … We are angry, and we want Israel out of this country!”

Booth said she represents the “good people of our country who are angry and disgusted now, because our country has an ambassador in Israel! Withdraw him! We do not want an Israeli embassy in London – they are criminals! Say it with me now: Israel – out! Out! Out! "

She then entertained the crowd by asking them if they remember Tony Blair, how they feel about him as Middle East envoy - the crowd booed in response - and then said, “I have his number here, let me call him; hang on a second.”  As the crowd laughed with approval, Booth apparently dialed Blair’s Jerusalem office, telling the crowd, “Hang on, let me put this on speaker phone,” and then saying into the phone, “Hello? Hi, I have a message here from the British people for Tony Blair, about Israel and his role: Shame on you! Shame on you!” She then let the crowd’s roars of agreement be heard on the phone.

Griffin later filed a complaint with the local police constable, writing as follows:

“I wish to make a formal allegation of incitement to racial hatred, contrary to S.5 of the Public Order Act, whereby it is an offence to use words intended or, having regards to all the circumstances, likely to incite racial hatred. The offence was, I believe, committed by Lauren Booth in the course of her speech to the Muslims for Gaza rally in Corporation Park, Blackburn, on Sunday 11th January 2009… This rally was attended by many thousands of mainly young Muslim men, already in a high state of anger as a result of media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Gaza. …[H]er use of the plural in the phrase “you are the criminals we detest”, juxtaposed with comments such as “we want Israel out of this country”, (not, please note, “the Israeli Embassy”, but simply “Israel”) are clearly likely – if not intended – to be taken by those present as a green light for hatred, indeed quite possibly actual physical violence, against individual Jews and against Jewish businesses in our High Streets.

“That she intended mischief is indicated by her deliberately setting out to enrage the audience with stories – totally fictitious as far as any news reports coming out of Gaza would suggest – of “chemical weapons” being used by Israel in the targeted attacks on Hamas terrorists which she presents as random attacks aimed at innocent women and children.

“Given the deep-rooted traditional hostility to Jews, simply on account of their being Jews, in the Koran and the Haddith, to make such a speech to a large Muslim audience can only incite hatred against Jews…”

The press office of Griffin’s British National Party informed IsraelNationalNews that the complaint, filed on Saturday, has not yet been acted upon.

Anti-Semitism on the Rise

The Community Security Trust, the main Jewish body that monitors anti-Semitism in London, says there were 150 anti-Semitic incidents in the first 18 days of the conflict in Gaza, representing a steep increase. Among the incidents were a suspected arson attack in a north London synagogue, verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, and more. The Metropolitan Police agrees that it has recorded an increase in anti-Semitism in London of late.

Booth's Candy Bars in Gaza

Booth made headlines four months ago when she took part in an anti-Israel stunt by arriving in
Gaza aboard a ship, in a challenge to Israeli sovereignty over the coastal waters.  Egyptian and Israeli authorities delayed her departure from Gaza.  She said that conditions in Gaza were worse than in Darfur, and compared the area to Nazi concentration camps – yet was photographed buying candy bars and soft drinks at a well-stocked Gaza grocery.