Nonsense from Blair
Mondoweiss today gives us a Youtube clip of Tony Blair dodging a tough question from a University of Buffalo student about the Goldstone report.
The student, Nick Kabat, asked Blair why the US and Israel should be allowed to get away with blocking the Goldstone Report, how (as the “Quartet”‘s peace envoy) he could explain that proceeding with Goldstone’s recommendations might harm the peace process, and whether he didn’t think that the blocade on Gaza also harmed the peace process.
You could see Blair ducking and weaving. (The questions had all been pre-screened by the university; but Kabat submitted a bland dummy question then asked this one instead.)
Blair said he’d been to Gaza “twice– in the recent period” and that the situation there is difficult… But you also “have to understand” that Israel has received a lot of rockets from there since it withdrew in 2005 and still has its young soldier Gilad Shalit held there as a prisoner…
No mention from Blair that there have been almost no rockets coming out of Gaza since Hamas announced the currently-operant ceasefire there on January 18– but despite that lack of rocketings, the Israeli siege is harsher even than it was prior to last winter’s war.
No mention of the roughly 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners and detainees being held in Israeli jails. They include more than two dozen elected Palestinian MPs and thousands of others elected for purely political reasons. Shalit, by contrast, was on active military service and thereby knowingly ran the risk of being taken as a prisoner-of-war.
What a dishonest schmuck Blair is. (Nothing new there.)
Then he said that this “situation” could only be resolved through a meaningful peace process that involves action from the top down “and from the bottom up”. This “bottom up” approach is, of course, where he concurs to a large degree with Netanyahu. It involves some elements of Netanyahu’s fallaciously announced “economic peace”, along with a colonial-style approach/argument that the Palestinians somehow “aren’t yet ready for independence”… And thus it will take many more years to painstakingly build Palestinian institutions “from the bottom up” before Tony Blair can even think of “allowing” them to have independence.
So in the meantime, his argument clearly implied, it is really quite alright for the Israelis to continue maintaining their quite inhumane tight siege on Gaza.
He also later said that his best indicator of the “good news from Israel and Palestine” is that he can now travel around the West Bank to cities that previously he was unable to travel to.
Quite unself-consciously! It was just all, quite unabashedly, about him and his freedom to travel.
(And Gaza’s 1.5 million besieged people are supposed to take what kind of comfort from that?)
Memo to the UN Security Council: This guy’s attitudes and policies are actively harmful to the Palestinian people and to world peace. Take him off the job immediately.
Actually, what the Security Council needs to do most urgently is mount its own struggle for independence from US colonialism, as embodied in the whole concept of the UN being subordinate to US leadership in this grotesque body, the so-called “Quartet”, and to leave the Quartet immediately.
Well, either that or reconfigure it to be under the control of the UN, not Washington.