Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Contributed by europe(zionism must die)
".....Speaking from his home in New York, James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank president who resigned after only 13 months as envoy, said the job was doomed because Israel and America had undermined him. Unless this situation changed, Mr Wolfensohn said Mr Blair would effectively be wasting his time. "My worry for Tony Blair is that if you read the mandate he has - it's exactly the same as mine," Mr Wolfensohn told the Israeli daily, Haaretz. "It talks about helping both sides, helping the Palestinians, but there's nothing there about negotiating peace. "I would only hope that there's a greater mandate given to him, 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."....
He was particularly scathing about Israel and America for failing to back his attempts in autumn 2005 to develop the Palestinian economy after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. He even put £300,000 of 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 saw reopening the border as the key to reviving the Palestinian economy, but Washington tried to negotiate a six-point plan for the frontier without consulting him."I had to fight my way into the November  meeting when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the six-point plan," he said."I was there... when it was announced, and what I didn't realise was that that was the death penalty, because after that the Israelis and the Americans took apart that agreement and I knew less and less what was happening."My team of 18 people was fired. So I was left with no office and no people, and even though they asked me to stay on, it was pretty clear to me that the only thing to do was to get out."
Mr Wolfensohn said the collapse of Gaza's economy had led, in part, to the Hamas election victory in January 2006. He said that Gaza's population could not simply be ignored now they were under the authority of Hamas, which is officially shunned by America, 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."....."