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PA says Tony Blair has lost all credibility (though he’s better than Dennis Ross)

Israel/Palestine
on 27 Comments

When asked about his contribution to the peace process, Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy, former British Prime Minister and Bush poodle, can only point to the closing of a few Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and the gentrification of Ramallah.  But then again peace is hard, to paraphrase our President and Hopemeister Barack Obama, who is a great Blair supporter.

Despite his glaring lack of success, it is said that Tony Blair revels in his role as envoy for the Quartet.  Blair has apparently mixed his diplomatic position with his rapidly expanding business  interests and some claim his private pleasure, in a manner which calls into question his ability to make any meaningful and unbiased contribution to resolving the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

This week officials of the Palestinian Authority (PA) have harshly and publicly criticized Blair for favoring the Israelis.  There are persistent rumors that the PA will shortly call for the former British Prime Minister’s dismissal from his envoy post. However according to the BBC, a PA spokesperson, while admitting that there is great dissatisfaction with Blair, claimed that his removal was not a priority. 

The BBC reports that Blair’s office says he has no plans to quit and that he remains committed to the peace process. On the positive side, one Palestinian official admitted that Blair was not as bad as Dennis Ross, President Obama’s top Middle East adviser.

Fadwa Hodali, writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, quotes senior Palestinians officials’ exasperation:

Blair, who has mediated between Israelis and Palestinians on behalf of the so-called Quartet, has taken “very aggressive positions against the Palestinians,” Palestinian lawmaker Bassam Salhi said in an interview today. “He has lost his credibility as a broker and mediator.”

Nabil Shaath, the chief Palestinian negotiator, last week told reporters that Blair “sounds like an Israeli diplomat sometimes,” according to the New York Times. Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister, said at a press conference in Ramallah today that he and colleagues are “looking into his actions and his role, and when the time comes we will issue our opinion.” He said Palestinians haven’t made an official request for Blair to be replaced.

Adrian Blomfield writes in The Telegraph:

“There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair, particularly because of the very damaging role he played during our UN bid,” a … Palestinian official said.

“He is considered persona non grata in Palestine. Although we can’t prevent him from coming here, we can hopefully minimize the role he can play because he is not a mediator, he is totally biased on one side.”

Update:  Blair defended himself against critics on India’s CNBC-TV18 on September 29.  A summary of the Blair interview was published in The Telegraph.

About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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27 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 30, 2011, 3:55 am

    Great bit of work, Ira.

    Blair is working on the Israeli Holy Grail-how to get the Palestinians to agree to hand over all of Jerusalem to the Zionists and feel that they have achieved what they want in the negotiations.

  2. john h
    September 30, 2011, 4:15 am

    Blair is as much a mediator as Obama is; i.e not at all, he’s just a suit.

    He got the Quartet position the day he left Downing Street in June 2007.

    “A storm of suspicion and disapproval has been building among Palestinians since his first days in the region. Many were surprised and disappointed when he failed to speak out against Israel’s invasion of Gaza in January 2009”.

    Just like Obama. Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

    Even though “He is considered persona non grata in Palestine”, “A spokesman for Mr Blair insisted he had no plans to leave the Middle East, adding: ‘He is there for the long term'”

    It’s already been much too long, Mr. Blair.

    Enjoy the experience of the Palestinian leadership “looking to isolate the former PM so his position became untenable on the international stage”, and knowing that ‘There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair’.

  3. ToivoS
    September 30, 2011, 4:24 am

    OMG, what did anyone expect. Blair is now cashing in on his previous service to US and Israeli interests. He knows as well as we all do that the Zionists have access to hundreds of millions of dollars of bribe money to advance their goals in Israel. It is pay day for Tony Blair. He spent all those years being accused of being a poodle — doesn’t he deserve the reward now.

    • eGuard
      September 30, 2011, 6:32 am

      First cashing was $1m Dan David prize from Israel. And then the cashing in started on current services.

      He says he does this peace processing “pro bono“. To him it means that I/P conflict is out of the world shortly, like the other bono is get rid of poverty (for himself to start with). That is what a pro does.

      I am not pro bono, nor a pro blairo.

      • eGuard
        September 30, 2011, 8:26 am

        (To be clear: my post above was based on the India’s CNBC-TV video, linked in the Update).

  4. Steve Macklevore
    September 30, 2011, 5:49 am

    To us long term Blair watchers, this comes as no surprise.

    As long ago as May 2009, Blair was awarded a one million dollar ‘peace prize’ by an Israeli ‘philanthropist and businessman.’ There is no way that anyone working for the Palestinians would get within 100 miles of a prize like that.

    None the less it’ll be good to see Blair fired – he loves being an international figure, and the greatest revenge of all would be to see him reduced to obscurity.

    • seafoid
      September 30, 2011, 6:21 am

      As long ago as 2009 Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Price.
      I wish I lived in a parallel universe where warmongering didn’t mean peace.

    • American
      September 30, 2011, 9:51 am

      “As long ago as May 2009, Blair was awarded a one million dollar ‘peace prize’ by an Israeli ‘philanthropist and businessman”

      Unbelievable! Accepting money from a obvious supporter of one side while being mediator between the two sides?
      In my day that would have been an automatic disqualification for the position.
      No such thing as ethics anymore I guess.

  5. eGuard
    September 30, 2011, 6:35 am

    His business reasoning is: Palestinians wanted to introduce competition by getting a second mobile telephony provider, so they would get “100’s of millions of $ revenue” (2:10).

    Well, Tony: true competition has no state revenue in the equation at all. How do your Palestinians (about 3m customers in total) get M$100’s extra out of that “competition” deal??? (Each M$100 is $35 per customer — Blair the coloniser)

  6. HarryLaw
    September 30, 2011, 7:14 am

    A must watch program Dispatches on Channel 4 (via 4OD) “The wonderful world of Tony Blair ” has this……… Anis Nacrour, a senior French diplomat who worked for Tony Blair at the Quartet’s Jerusalem office for three years as a Political & Security Advisor, says: “The inception of the idea of a quartet, I think it was how could I say a, a smoke screen for the action of the Americans and in tandem between Americans and Israelis. At the end of the day, all this was erm, buying time for allowing the Israeli government to do whatever they wanted to do.”

    Enough said…

  7. pabelmont
    September 30, 2011, 7:18 am

    The Quartet is prisoner to the out-dated idea that negotiations will bring peace. That is the sole justification for calling the whole sordid charade a “peace process”. Being a prisoner of this idea, it is small wonder that its envoy, Blair, also promotes [endless, fruitless] negotiation.

    I suppose that the USA-Quartet idea is that if pushed long enough and hard enough the Palestinians will cave in, thus showing that “negotiation” worked. After all, Israel “negotiates” confessions from Palestinian prisoners by use of torture, and isn’t the entire oppressive nature of the occupation/siege-of-Gaza a form of torture, a form of “negotiation”? And aren’t the Palestinians who live under occupation, really prisoners?

    The proof of this idea is that USA gives a “green light” to settlement expansion — to say nothing about the presence of settlements in the first place, considering that UNSC demanded removal of all settlers and dismantling of all settlement buildings in 1980 (UNSC-465). This “green light” to criminal activity is perfectly in synch with insistence on “negotiation” conducted via torture.

    • seafoid
      September 30, 2011, 8:00 am

      The peace process is a sham . Anyone pushing the Palestinians to accept Israel’s terms is a fraud. Anyone who gets paid to push Israel’s terms is a shill.

  8. kursato
    September 30, 2011, 7:20 am

    This man should be on trial in the Hague for war crimes and going to war without an UN Mandate…

    He and his patron Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, where some 6,000 of US soldiers, and many of its allies’ soldiers, have lost their lives in grinding wars of attrition.

    The costs-of-war project at Brown University thinks that on a “very conservative” estimate about 137,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and that the wars have created more than 7.8m refugees in these countries. The Brown project puts the wars’ ultimate cost, including interest payments and veterans’ care, to the United States at up to $4 trillion—equivalent to the country’s cumulative budget deficits for the six years from 2005 to 2010.

  9. Tzombo
    September 30, 2011, 7:35 am

    I can’t believe the PA thinks Tony Blair ever had any credibility to lose. He lost any credibility he may have once had when he was Bush’s lapdog during the run up to the Iraq invasion.

  10. Kathleen
    September 30, 2011, 8:57 am

    How Blair was put in this position is so contradictory. Blair was right behind, Cheney, Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. A war criminal in many people’s book the head of a group alleging to push for a fair agreement. Does not make sense

    So he was placed the head of the quartet in 2002. Surprised he was not removed. Absurd

  11. kalithea
    September 30, 2011, 9:06 am

    I implore the Palestinians to get this pompous ass declared “persona non grata” so we can be spared of being subjected to his inflated stupidity. This man demonstrates the worst flaws of human nature: greed, narcissism and hubris.

    I’M SICK TO DEATH OF HIM AND I WISH HE’D GET THE MESSAGE: The majority of humanity is disgusted with you! Get into the woodwork already!

  12. Kathleen
    September 30, 2011, 9:26 am

    His position buffers him a bit from facing his war criminal status

    • seafoid
      September 30, 2011, 10:35 am

      Imagine if Turkey kidnapped him and delivered him to an alternative ICC in Cairo.

  13. Remax
    September 30, 2011, 10:49 am

    Blair performs a useful role for people like Bush and Obama by undertaking tasks beyond the conscience of even the most depraved. A few years back I told my mother he had become a Roman Catholic, ‘Well,’ she said, ‘his Confessor will be on overtime’.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    September 30, 2011, 12:00 pm

    A NICE PHOTO OF “LORD” BLAIR AND HIS ENTOURAGE* “MIXING” WITH PALESTINIAN COMMONERS IN JENIN – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2380686753222&set=o.152832719154&type=1&theater
    * NOTE THE KEWL SHADES!

  15. PeaceThroughJustice
    September 30, 2011, 12:03 pm

    George Galloway liked to say that not since Caligula proclaimed his horse a member of the Roman senate was there a more inappropriate appointment than Blair to “peace envoy.”

  16. Dan Crowther
    September 30, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Tony Blair is still “committed to the peace process…..”

    Japanese Holdouts had this message for Blair: Your a F’ing idiot

  17. john h
    September 30, 2011, 6:13 pm

    “On the positive side, one Palestinian official admitted that Blair was not as bad as Dennis Ross”

    Yeah?

    “If I remember correctly, Blair negotiated his salary with Condi Rice at the State Department in 2007 when he was first appointed to the post. And he has one particular asset there. For all practical purposes, Tony has been the public face of Dennis Ross, Israel’s man at the White House.

    In retrospect, Palestinians reckon it’s unfair to call Tony a poodle. Poodles are harmless.” (Marwan Bishara, aljazeera)

  18. john h
    September 30, 2011, 6:26 pm

    Blair highlights how ridiculous the Quartet is, and how inevitable it was that it would be counterproductive or worse.

    “It also says much about the so-called international Quartet, that the Bush administration appointed the body to prelaunch its sponsored negotiations in 2002, which were, of course, an utter failure.

    Why would the Secretary General of the United Nations that represents the whole community of nations accept being a junior partner in a geopolitical configuration? It is beyond me. Or, for that matter, why should Europe or Russia have their own seats at the negotiating table?

    Who said these hypocritical, cynical entities could deliver peace in the Middle East?”
    (Marwan Bishara, aljazeera)

  19. DICKERSON3870
    October 1, 2011, 7:06 pm

    RE: “PA says Tony Blair has lost all credibility (though he’s better than Dennis Ross)” ~ Ira Glunts

    MY COMMENT: What about Alberto Uribe as a “compromise” (lol)?

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