In my previous post Sound advice for Tony Blair I discussed the limited role the US has (no doubt under Israeli ‘guidance’) assigned to the former British PM as its international envoy.
I mentioned Israel fearing a Blair probably hell-bent on making a fresh favourable name for himself to mitigate his disastrous backing of the US illegal Iraq war and occupation, coming up with actually genuine peace terms for BOTH sides to subscribe to.
The Israelis have no intention of accepting any peace terms unless it dictates what those terms should be (and it certainly would be able to do that if Washington continues to directly handle the peace talks), which has been why US Sec of State Condoleeza Rice said that Blair would only focus on building up the Palestinian economy and institutions, while the US would lead on the ‘political track’.
This defeats the original purpose where Blair would play a non-US and hopefully less US-oriented role in peace negotiations. Because of its invincible bias for Israel, the US is already tainted, and viewed with distrust, disdain and disrespect by the Arabs. The Bush Administration cannot be expected to play a fair and impartial role.
But obviously Blair hasn’t been embarrassed by Condoleeza Rice’s limitation of his role, or he is pretending there’s no such limitation, because he said he sees a "sense of possibility" for success in his new role as a Middle East peace envoy and is keen "to listen, to learn and to reflect" in his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The bias of the US is all too obvious and grating because Blair is actually an envoy, not of the US alone but of the Quartet (UN, US, Russia and EU). Therefore Rice’s declared restriction on Blair’s participation is reeking with Israeli odour – ho hum, so what’s new with the US!
But in typical British upper lip speak (er no, he didn’t prefix his statement with ‘rippling old top, jolly good show’) Blair said: "I think that even from the conversations I've had there is a sense of possibility. But whether that sense of possibility can be translated into something -- that is something that needs to be worked at and thought about over time.”
Yawnnnnnnnnn ........ see what I mean ;-)
But James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank president – the one before Anwar Ibrahim’s buddy Paul Wolfowitz took over but was subsequently told to pack up and leave – said that Blair would be just wasting his time.
Wolfosohn was the Quartet’s enjoy but resigned after only 13 months in that role.
He said that the Quartet envoy’s job (whoever may be occupying it) was doomed because, as he experienced, Israel and the US had undermined him.
See what I mean!
Wolfensohn advised that unless this (Israeli-US sabotaging) situation changed, Blair would in effect be wasting his time. He said to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper and probably the only mainstream one that could be relied upon to provide some balanced reporting:
"My worry for Tony Blair is that if you read the mandate he has - it's exactly the same as mine. It talks about helping both sides, helping the Palestinians, but there's nothing there about negotiating peace."
Because Israel doesn’t want peace!!! It wants to keep the status quo where Palestinians are living in a semi-state of ghetto-rised bondage and continuous humiliation – there’s a purpose to this but perhaps in another posting.
Blair had said last week that reviving the Palestinian economy as the key to developing a two-state solution.
“Two-state”? Not on your Deuteronomic nanny if Israel has anything to say, and Israel always have and will have where the blinded biased US is concerned.
Wolfensohn in fact said building a strong economic base for the Palestinians had been missed during his time. The Sydney Morning Herald reported this in an interview with Wolfosohn:
He was scathing about Israel and the US for failing to back his attempts in 2005 to develop the Palestinian economy after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. He put his own money into a fund to secure Israeli commercial greenhouses in Gaza so they could be transferred to Palestinian farmers. But Israel closed Gaza's border and halted all exports.
Mr Wolfensohn said the collapse of Gaza's economy had led, in part, to the Hamas election victory in January last year, and that Gaza's population could not simply be ignored now it was under the authority of Hamas, which is shunned by the US, Israel and the European Union.
"The reality is that you have 1.4 million Palestinians living in Gaza, and you can't wish them away. You can't leave Gaza as a place where the rich and powerful can get out and leave just the people who can't make a living."
Wolfosohn concluded sadly: "I would only hope that there's a greater mandate given to him [Blair], because even with the superior standing that he has over the standing I had, if he doesn't have a mandate … halfway through negotiations your office is closed and someone takes over negotiations, you have to say you failed."
Israel and its religious vassal, the US – don’t expect them to be fair to the Palestinians. But good luck to Tony Blair.