Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Palestinians send Blair a wake-up call

In Hebron, the Quartet's man has had his equivalent of Bush's shoe-throwing assault: it's an unmissable signal of a loss of faith

A Good Comment

By Seth Freedman, Wednesday 21 October 2009

"During his visit to a mosque in Hebron, Tony Blair found himself on the receiving end of a stream of abuse from a Palestinian local incensed at his presence in the city. Screaming "you are a terrorist" at the bewildered Blair, the man was bundled off by security guards before getting the chance to ram his point home. This was to be no repeat of the shoe-throwing journalist's attack on George Bush in Iraq, but the sentiments behind both outbursts appeared to be similar......

However, Blair's spell as the Quartet's envoy has been characterised by a great deal of words and precious little action, hence it is small wonder that Palestinians are growing ever less convinced about his ability to bring about the sea-change he promises. Two years ago, I interviewed a resident of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, whose disparaging remarks about Blair are as relevant today as they were then......

Israel's adherence to the treadmill policy has suckered in countless diplomats and politicians for decades, and Blair is only the latest member of the cul-de-sac club to swear blind that progress is being made between the two sides, while having next to no evidence to back up his claims. Today's attack in Hebron should not be so casually dismissed by Blair or his team; instead he should be aware that eventually every naked emperor is outed as having no clothes – and it seems that the Palestinians' patience with Blair and his partners is rightly wearing thin."

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