Comment at end
8th June 2010
Blair, today: “I am one hundred percent on Israel’s side.”
With a touch of selective quoting which would do the Guardian, Mail and other press outlets in Britain proud, the Jerusalem Post (on 06/08/2010 20:44) has this on Blair’s support for Israel:
Well, more or less ….
Without a prayer? – Y BLAIR? – GUDE ME O, THOU GREAT JEHOVAH – as in my earlier post here
But the sub-heading tells the full story:
Or, to quote Mr Blair accurately –
“When it comes to security, I am one hundred percent on Israel’s side.”
Remember, BOTH, or ALL sides of this ongoing battle look for help wherever they can find it. Hamas has Ahmadinejad’s “boat people” onside for a Med trip to Gaza “this week”. Israel has had to deal with a confidence motion in the Knesset on whether soldiers or the government were to blame for mishandling the flotilla incident. Meanwhile Obama stays comparatively shtum. Israel would dearly love to have Tony Blair, the Quartet’s mid-East representative on their side.
The full Jerusalem Post story
‘Ex-UK premier favors int’l probe, supports right to self-defense.
Israel has the right to protect itself, former British prime minister Tony Blair said in an interview with Channel 10 on Tuesday. Blair met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday to discuss the repercussions of last week’s flotilla raid.
“Any investigation has to be full and impartial, and there may be some sort of international element that could be part of it,” Blair said.While Blair stressed the need to launch an international, impartial probe into the incident, he assured that he wholeheartedly supports Israel’s right to self-defense.
“There are no questions at all. There have been rockets fired from Gaza, there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis,” the former UK premier said.
“When it comes to security, I am one hundred percent on Israel’s side.” ‘
RELATED from JP: British press marvels at Israel’s PR and Netanyahu: Our right to self-defense is under attack]
THEN THERE’S THE BBC REPORT ON THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL’S POSITION
You might be forgiven for thinking this is BBC pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel spin. Amongst the (selective?) quotations regarding “demands” we have –“Mr Ban still hoped for “credible international involvement” in the investigation to ensure it was “prompt, credible, impartial and transparent”. He said they had not received an official rejection from Israel.”
SO WHAT ELSE IS TONY BLAIR UP TO?
If you’re wondering, and if not, why not, what else Tony Blair has been saying or doing recently, there’s this interview on Fox Business on the Global Debt crisis in Europe.
Fox Business video, dated 2nd June – “Tony Blair on Global Debt Crisis – Former British PM Tony Blair weighs in on the state and future of the global economies.”
Excerpts: “The political will in Europe is very, very strong… after the financial crisis … there is an unravelling of debt that has to happen … consumers, businesses, banking sector, government … exposes the need to reform which was there in any event. As change …. inevitable reforms will have to take place… that stabilises and gives confidence outside of Europe … interdependent world emerging markets.
The Palestinian Conference … joint projects on information technology. One of the things that is so frustrating about the challenges … private sector relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis … are … pretty good. If we could only get the politics working better…”
And on CNN, just to show I’m not biased there’s this interview (linked to from Story Balloon here)
Headed – ‘If you can stomach the blatant anti-Israel nonsense at the beginning of the video.. you’ll find Tony Blair and Turkey’s Foreign Minister taking shot after shot at Israel.’
I listened and watched, and I didn’t hear any of those shots coming from Tony Blair. But I DID notice him pointing out (5:50) that the takeover of Gaza in 2007 was unlawful, something many tend to forget.
Ref this: The Gaza Strip has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt since June 2007, when, after their 2006 victory in the Palestinian legislative election, Hamas took control of the Palestinian territory in the course of the Battle of Gaza (2007) from the Palestinian government of March 2007 after forcing out Fatah. It immediately followed the 2006-2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority following the election of Hamas to the Palestinian government.
And shortly after that I did notice him saying that “Israel has a complete right to protect itself …”
In response to a question on the Israeli policy of ‘no development, no prosperity’ in order to turn Gaza into a hell-hole under Hamas’ government, Tony Blair says “it’s precisely the limitations of that policy that people like myself have been arguing for the best part of two years… it is of course right that we make huge progress on the West Bank … but it is a mistake to believe that you push ahead with the West Bank and leave Gaza isolated.” He actually says nothing that he hasn’t said before. Complete consistency and no anti-Israeli talk whatsoever.
So thank you for the video link, Story Balloon, but I don’t agree with your analysis of the words of the world’s favourite diplomat, Mr Blair. I do agree about the anti-Israel introduction and much of the Turkish Foreign Minister’s stance, to be expected as it is. This from Story Balloon is interesting, though –
‘..but the Soviet Union never killed any of our citizens.’ – Turkey’s Foreign Minister.
Wow.. Israel is worse than the Soviet Union now?
Know your friends. Turkey too needs to remember this, especially if it expects the USA to know its friends.
[Aside in the last part of this half hour programme, Mr Zakaria discusses nuclear power and how people are coming round to it. Well, you didn’t have to persuade Mr Blair about the merits, Mr Zakaria. One of his last acts as PM was to lay plans for more nuclear reactors, a policy which WILL be followed through even in the Liberal Democratic / Conservative government. But, sorry, Mr Zakaria, anyone who recommends the Icarus Syndrome, which blanket damns as “hubris” political leadership with which the Left do not agree, has just scored one book off my “must read” list.
AND TONY BLAIR STILL AIMS TO RECONCILE THE SEEMINGLY IRRECONCILABLE
“We spent three jam-packed days at the offices of the Interfaith Youth Core, talking over the last eight months. Each pair of Fellows gave a short presentation – basically a highlight reel – of their work, and we talked very candidly about successes and failures. As a whole, the Fellowship raised around USD $140,000, which former Prime Minister Tony Blair will personally match. The money is going to Project Muso, Spread the Net, and Malaria No More US and UK. We had around 10,000 people come to our events and reached out to around 40,000 in total. We had 350 media pieces and trained dozens of new interfaith leaders.
Tony Blair himself interrupted a series of toasts we were giving each other to say how proud and excited he felt about us. We are his Fellows, really, and he’s always very eager to talk us up. He told us that what we did was new and trend-setting and most of all important.”
I still await the Islamic-led equivalent of Blair’s togetherness of faiths. Will let you know…
Tony Blair welcomes the University of Western Australia to the Faith and Globalisation initiative
TonyBlairFaithFdn — 07 June 2010 — The University of Western Australia has become the first Australian University and the fifth in the world to partner with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation Faith and Globalisation Initiative.
The Initiative is a global network of universities committed to exploring the complex interrelationship of faith and globalisation in the modern world. It seeks to provide current and future leaders with the tools and analysis to understand the important role religion plays in the modern world.
The part that caught my attention was this at around 1:10 –
“I’m eager to see Religion and Secularism in a Global World undergraduate course develop and I look forward to meeting you all.”
Religion AND Secularism? Attaboy, Tony. Don’t let “militant” anti-religion secularists hijack democratic secularism.
More on this in a later post.
Tags: Ahmet Davutoglu, Ban Ki-moon, Davotoglu, Faith and Globalisation initiative, Faiths Act Fellowship, Fareed Zakaria, foreign minister, Foreign Policy, Global Debt crisis in Europe, I am one hundred percent on Israel's side, Icarus Syndrome, interview Fox Business, Story Balloon, Tony Blair, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Tony Blair welcomes, Turkey, University of Western Australia, When it comes to security, YouTube video