Does anyone really take any notice of discredited Tony Bliar anymore? Still, as Middle East envoy for the Quartet, he has a whole story in Haaretz devoted to his thoughts on Hamas.
Blair is the Middle East envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.
Blair told the newspaper that that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work.”
“Yes, we do need to show through the change we are making on the West Bank that the Palestinian state could be a reality,” said Blair.
“The trouble is that if you simply try to push Gaza to one side then eventually what happens is the situation becomes so serious that it erupts and you deliver into the hands of the mass the power to erupt at any point in time.”
Blair repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognize Israel. However, he said that his “basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”
So what is he really saying? that his private position differs from that of the Quartet? furthermore has he REALLY noticed the changes on the West Bank in the past year?
In the Times, Bliar expands his position:
Hamas must somehow be brought into the Middle East peace process because the policy of isolating Gaza in the quest for a settlement will not work, …
In an interview with Ginny Dougary in the Saturday Magazine, Mr Blair says that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work”. He hints in references to how peace was eventually achieved in Northern Ireland that the time may be approaching to talk to Hamas … “My basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”
Mr Blair, speaking after talks with the new US envoy George Mitchell, says that Gaza will not be pushed aside because there are 1.25 million people there who want a Palestinian state.
However, he repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognise Israel.
Mr Blair then says that there is a distinction between the difficulty of negotiating with Hamas as part of a peace process if they would not accept one of the states in the two-state solution, and “talking to Hamas as the de facto power in Gaza”.
He declines to answer whether he has talked to Hamas unofficially, although his staff later insists that he has not, and that all contacts have been via Egyptian diplomats. Under intense questioning later he replies: “I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms.”
Pressed to go further Mr Blair says that he has to be careful how he expresses things because “if you do this in the wrong way it can destabilise the very people in Palestine who have been working all through for the moderate cause”.
He added: “We do have to find a way of making sure that the choice is put before Hamas and the people of Gaza in a clear, understandable, unambiguous way, for them to choose their future. You have to find a way of communicating that choice to them in their terms. Now exactly what way you choose at the moment, that is an open question.”
Diplomats will point out that Mr Blair fully signed up to the Annapolis accord which envisaged the creation of a Palestinain state by the end of 2008 whether Gaza was part of it or not. Even though sceptics said that the goal was unrealistic, Mr Blair insisted that a deal could be done by the end of last year.
Why none of these Quartet goons recognise that it is the right under international law for an illegally occupied people to resist occupation with arms if necessary is beyond us. To not do so is to implicitly back fully Israel’s continued illegal occupation and repulsive domination of the Palestinian territories. Why are Palestinians denied the right to defend themselves from Israel’s obvious, disgusting aggression?
If Bibi Netanyahoo obtains power in the Israeli elections, extended confrontation between his goals to expand settlements and renounce previous agreements and Obama’s policies is liable to delay peace and the potential for a Palestinian state for years.
Hamas’ stance toward Israel’s demands is consolidated by senior member, Khalil Al-Hayya.
Hamas had not yielded on its demands that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza enclave be lifted and Gaza’s borders opened to normal trade, he said.
Hayya reaffirmed his group’s demands to conclude a prisoner swap with Israel that would see the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the return of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Gaza militants in 2006.
“Gilad Shalit will never see the light and life until our prisoners see the light among their women and children,” he said.
YnetNews steps up its vapid, transparent propaganda campaign, quoting unnamed sources in an attempt to show that Al Qaeda has thousands of supporters in Gaza. Who are they trying to kid? only the terminally stupid would believe such blatant manufactured claptrap.