TONY “BLUR” ON THE ISRAEL/ARAB “CONFLICT”….MELANIE PHILLIPS
Home truths from Planet Wishful Thinking
Despite Tony Blairâ€™s undoubtedly genuine sympathy for Israelâ€™s predicament, I have always had serious reservations about the dangerous — indeed, near-lethal — naivety of his belief in the â€˜peace processâ€™ as the means to end the Arab and Muslim war of annihilation against Israel. In this interesting interview he has given to the Jerusalem Post, Blair actually admits to some of that naivety, and has the grace to acknowledge further that he had not understood the force of Israelâ€™s concerns until he came to spend time there after leaving office â€“ from which he was forced out early, let us never forget, because he supported Israelâ€™s right to defend itself, without which right a country cannot continue to exist.
In the interview, he reveals however that too much of that naivety and muddled thinking still clings to him. But he also delivers some basic home truths which you would not hear emanating from the mouth of David Cameron, let alone William Hague â€“ nor from that of his erstwhile protÃ©gÃ©, David Miliband. Here are some examples of what we are so badly missing from the British public debate on the Middle East, where appeasement of Hamas is now de rigueur in the fashionable salons of Primrose Hill and Clapham:
As I say to people, if Israel thinks that whatâ€™s happened in Gaza is about to happen on the West Bank, it would be absurd to say that could be treated with indifference. This is not just a question of borders; itâ€™s a question of the nature of the Palestinian state, how itâ€™s governed, whether there is a stable, predictable basis for long-term peace.
… People ask me from the outside, â€˜Is Bibi Netanyahu prepared for a Palestinian state?â€™ I say, â€˜yes, in the right circumstances.â€™ And they say, â€˜Well, youâ€™re qualifying it.â€™ And I say, â€˜Youâ€™ve got to qualify it.â€™ The truth is that if the circumstances are right â€“ and those circumstances, from the point of view of Israel, are about their long-term security â€“ then yes, I think people are prepared to recognize that a Palestinian state is the right solution. But if you canâ€™t deal with the security issue, the circumstances arenâ€™t right.
… When people say the international community should reach out to Hamas, itâ€™s not as if Hamas arenâ€™t being spoken to. People talk about this as if there was some failure of communication. There are plenty of people that talk to Hamas. The Egyptians are talking to Hamas constantly. People talk to Hamas, and Hamas know perfectly well what they need to do in order to come into the process.
Itâ€™s very important to describe these Quartet rules [which require Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements as pre-conditions for international legitimization] not in the sense of a piece of bureaucracy.
The point is that if you want to be part of a negotiation for a state of Palestine and a state of Israel, one, itâ€™s quite difficult to do that in circumstances where youâ€™re sitting across the table from people and saying, â€˜We reserve the right to kill your citizens at the same time as weâ€™re having this talk.â€™ That in my view doesnâ€™t work as a negotiation.
To put it mildly.
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