1. A Soldier’s Story (video). 2. Melanie Phillips on ‘Wishful Thinking’ Blair

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    30th June, 2010

    H/t to CifWatch here

    A Soldier’s Story

    From the American Israel Public Affairs Committee YouTube channel

    From Melanie Phillips: Home truths from Planet Wishful Thinking

    Reading this at The Spectator last night I thought that Melanie had said much of what I would have said on Tony Blair’s recent interview. I notice how the comments at her post softened as people read and understood more. The finger-counters are now outnumbered by those willing to give Blair a chance.

    Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair visits the Kerem Shalom goods terminal between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on June 22, 2010. Blair said that he hopes additional easements on the Gaza blockade will be made within the next two weeks and that the gestures will give momentum to the relations between Israel and the Palestinians. (Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

    Tony Blair has been quietly consistent in relation to Israel’s security ever since taking up his envoy post. I have been watching and listening to his firm and diplomatic-speak approach. I KNOW that he has been clear and consistent. Good to see others recognising it too.

    Coriander, yes

    Excerpt from Blair’s wide-ranging Jerusalem Post interview:

    Questioner: How troubled are you, and how troubled should we be, about the demonization and delegitimization of Israel? It does trouble me because I think that the security of Israel is a fundamental part of our security too, in countries like mine.

    Blair: The lesson is to take the ground that is always justifiable. And there is ground that is justifiable. That’s why the policy we’ve now articulated on Gaza is a sensible policy. I, as a friend of Israel, can go out and justify this policy. As you put it in your paper, ‘Coriander, yes; Kassams, no.’ I can justify that policy.

    What I found hard to justify was ‘Coriander, no.’ There is a constant battle here [against delegitimization] that anyone in Israel is well aware of. That’s why the smart thing is always to be on the ground that you can defend most easily.

    Meanwhile, just in case you thought we were getting somewhere now that Barak & Mitchell are discussing “direct peace talks” –

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