For weeks now, I’ve been mulling over the decision in late November of Save the Children – an organisation I’ve given money to – to honour the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair with a ‘humanitarian award.’ The announcement was met with a mixture of astonishment and outrage, and prompted more than 200 Save the Children staffers to sign an internal letter objecting to the accolade which they say undermines the organisation’s global credibility, while more than 100,000 people signed a petition demanding that it be revoked.

In its defence, the UK branch of Save the Children alleged it was not consulted about the award, which was given by its US counterpart. The Americans in turn alleged that they were unaware of the antipathy many Britons feel towards Mr Blair, who was forced to cancel several events marking the 2010 publication of his memoirs lest the festivities be marred by protestors who regard the former PM as a common (war) criminal.

Then the January 2015 issue of the US magazine Vanity Fair appeared on my doorstep with a cover featuring the actor Bradley Cooper alongside a plug for a profile of Mr Blair, the ‘controversial’ former Prime Minister who is ‘reviled’ in the UK according to its author. I permitted myself a rueful smile, for it struck me that the powers that be at Save the Children US are the only people on either side of the Atlantic not to know about the vast gulf between Mr Blair’s self regard and how many people regard him.

After reading the piece it was clear that for Mr Blair, who professes profound religious faith, the concepts of ‘shame’ and ‘humility’ remain a divine mystery. I suppose it’s no surprise that the former PM attempts to re-cast his Iraq campaign as a crusade against Islamist fundamentalism, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein – however loathsome – led a secular party with roots in anti-colonialist Arab nationalism. Instead, hell bent on bolstering his shrill moral certainties, Mr Blair pretends a by-product of his ill-advised adventure is actually its cause. In a similar vein he is unrepentant about championing a return to military rule in Egypt after the Egyptian people were left to their own devices and democratically chose a party Mr Blair didn’t like much. Between mass trials of civilians in military courts and the unprecedented number of journalists chucked in jail by the thuggish regime of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, we can certainly see why Mr Blair, for whom dictators and despots constitute bread and butter, feels so at home in Cairo.

The Vanity Fair piece touches only briefly on the former PM’s sickeningly ironic role as envoy of the Middle East ‘Quartet’, which is neatly summed up in two quotes. Israeli lawyer: ‘He has trivialised the institution he purports to lead.’ Palestinian spokesperson: ‘He can stay as long as he is not helpful.’ Indeed, this summer’s Gaza siege is one of the few topics on which the loquacious Mr Blair has managed to shut up, partying at a lavish celebration for his wife’s birthday while Israel dropped bombs on UNRWA schools sheltering sleeping refugees. Just a few days ago, Newsweek ran this story about a man who lost four of his five children, his wife, two brothers, two sisters in-law and three of their children – not to mention his own arm – in the Gaza blitz. In the end, of course, more than 500 Palestinian children died during the siege of Gaza where Mr Blair has not stepped foot since the so-called ceasefire began.

A strong counterpoint came this week when the Taliban in Pakistan attacked a school in a brutal and terrifying raid that lasted seven hours and left more than 140 dead, mostly children. There was not a moment’s hesitation in the universal defence of the innocent, nor in the universal condemnation of this horrific operation and its perpetrators. Back in the land of black and white, no propagandists set themselves to penning New York Times op-eds in defence of these acts and no Hollywood luminaries declared their allegiance to these child killers. The revolting assault has even created fissures among the Taliban. In short, there has been no fence sitting – and rightly so.

But let’s not forget what happened when the American academic Steve Salaita accused those defending the Israeli siege of Gaza – a siege in which every international human rights organisation has said war crimes were committed against a civilian population – of being ‘awful’ amongst other ‘uncivil’ statements. Salaita lost a job he’d not yet begun, and became the object of a smear campaign in which both his scholarship and integrity were trashed. Same for the actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, and even the Jewish American TV presenter Jon Stewart. So it seems that ‘saving the children’ isn’t so clear cut after all. Just ask Tony Blair.

Here’s how things have looked for young Palestinians over the past few weeks:

At Least 115 Jerusalemites Including 30 Minors Abducted by Israeli Forces since December

Israeli occupation forces have taken into custody, since the beginning of December, some 115 Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem, including 30 minors, a Palestinian official revealed…

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, Chairman of Prisoners’ Relatives Committee in Jerusalem, Amjad Abu Asab, said that 79 of the detainees were arrested during home raids in occupied Jerusalem, while 36 citizens were ambushed or while passing through military checkpoints.

Israel set to demolish community-built school completed in August

In a move that exemplifies the brutality and inhumanity of the country’s policies, Israel intends to demolish a community-built school which was completed in August after more than two years of work. The school in Samra, in the Jordan valley is surrounded by Israeli military bases and illegal settlements. The government says the school was built without a permit. Permits are virtually never granted to Palestinians.

Palestinian boy run over by Jewish settler in West Bank

A Jewish settler ran over a seven-year-old Palestinian boy with his car in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, eyewitnesses have said…

Eyewitnesses told AA that the settler had run over the boy as he was crossing a street while en route to school in northern Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers detain eight-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Wednesday detained an eight-year-old Palestinian in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, a local information center said…

An average of two minors per day are arrested by Israeli forces, according to UNICEF.

According to a 2013 report by the UN children’s fund, Israel is the only country in the world where children were systematically tried in military courts, practicing “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”

More young men and teenagers arrested by the Israeli military via @ISMPalestine

On December 8th in Nablus, the Israeli army broke into the homes of two families in Balata refugee camp and arrested two young Palestinians, 19-year-old Mujahed al Shekhalil and 17-year-old Yazan Hta.

In both cases, their homes were raided by the military in the middle of the night (3am and

3:30am) damaging doors and property inside the houses. At the time of the incursions, all family members were sleeping. The military forced all family members into one room whilst they arrested the teenagers. Both families state that between 15 and 20 soldiers broke into their homes, and they were given no reason for either the intrusions or the arrests.

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