Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tormenting Tony Blair Sees Handiwork in Gaza

Tormentor Tony Blair visited Gaza. It was his first visit to Gaza since he was appointed Quartet Mideast Envoy in 2007. Two years late Blair had the gall to say:
"I wanted to come to hear for myself first-hand from people in Gaza, whose lives have been so badly impacted by the recent conflict."

Did any Gazan's recall Tony's December words? Should anyone need a reminder, his Christmas comments (two days before the outbreak of war) are below:
"We have to be very clear on one thing," he says. "The present situation is not harming Hamas in Gaza but it is harming the people."
Two weeks ago Blair met with Hillary Clinton, the incoming American secretary of state, and with Gen. James Jones, who will be national security adviser. He says the two understand that a change of strategy on Gaza is necessary. "I'd rather that they would declare their policy rather than me, but when I say that I don't think that the current situation is sustainable, I think most people who would analyze it think the same."

"I argued for the calm and I think it was a sensible thing that it happened, but we need to get a resolution of this issue in a way that allows progress toward peace. Any Palestinian state needs to [include both] Gaza and the West Bank. Nothing else would work."

I ask him several times what he proposes. Here Blair stops and goes silent. "I have ideas about this," he says, "but it is not sensible to talk about it at the moment." Reading between the lines, one can see that for him, unlike other European leaders, all options are on the table regarding Gaza. Livni and Vice Premier Haim Ramon are also against the status quo in there, I say to him. They want to topple the Hamas government by force. Here as well, Blair replies circuitously: "I think we should be clear that we have got to get to a place where we are offering the people of Gaza a clearer way out."

But are you concerned about the possibility of a military operation in Gaza?

"All the options for Israel are difficult, but the present option is difficult, too. I have already said enough."
Yes, Tony. You've said enough. Don't forget your slip of the tongue in early December.

Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair told the Al Quds Arabic-language newspaper that outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas have reached a secret but unsigned agreement.

Dangling economic peace, but implementing war. Gazan's should show Mr. Blair, Mrs. Clinton, and General Jones the door.