Yes, says Blair, the “Palestinians” have always been untrustworthy, but trust them anyway.
“Blair: Israel needs psychological shift,” by David Horovitz for the Jerusalem Post (thanks to Steve):
Middle East envoy Tony Blair on Sunday urged Israel to make a “psychological shift” from indifference and skepticism about the prospects of progress with the Palestinians to an active determination to “make it happen on the right terms.”
He said Israel, which turns 60 in May, would “absolutely” still be here in another 60 years, but that “to guarantee its long-term security I believe it needs a viable Palestinian state.”
If Israelis feel the same, Blair told The Jerusalem Post, then “the psychological shift that has to happen in the Israeli thinking is to move from saying, ‘Well, if it happens, it happens, but frankly I’m skeptical about the whole thing,’ to saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to try and make it happen.'”
He said he was “sure that the Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] is absolutely up for it. I’ve got no doubt about that at all. The next few weeks will tell whether everyone is prepared to get behind that.”
At the same time, however, Blair stressed Israel should not “yield” at all on security. And he stopped short of expressing full confidence that the Palestinian leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas, was capable of carrying out the necessary reform to meet Israel’s vital security needs.
It was “not impossible” for the Palestinians to transform themselves into the kind of “stable partner for Israel” that Jordan constitutes, he said. But the new Palestinian leadership is living “with a very long legacy from the past,” Blair said, in a reference to the Yasser Arafat era. The question for Abbas and his colleagues was, “Do they break out of that whole mindset? Do they regard themselves as people who are going to take the risks, shoulder the responsibility and get it done or not?… All I say to Israelis,” he went on, “is, well, put it to the test… What is the alternative?” Blair said he fully understood that Israel’s mistrust of the Palestinian leadership was a consequence of bitter experience. Indeed, he had been telling critics of Israel that, in the light of what went wrong in the Oslo years and in the wake of the Gaza disengagement, he too, were he leading Israel, would be wary of dramatic territorial withdrawal and giving the Palestinians’ statehood. “When you’re saying to [Israel], ‘We now want you to pull out of everywhere and give [the Palestinians] a state, you know, any of us who were in the shoes of the Israeli prime minister or any Israeli minister would be saying ‘Whoa.'”
Nonetheless, he went on, “the danger in this situation, if I can be very blunt about it, is that you say ‘There have been 60 years of failure of negotiation and therefore it’s always going to fail,’ whereas actually sometimes things aren’t like that. And to be fair to this Palestinian leadership, as I keep emphasizing, they’re living with the legacy of a certain type of politics and you don’t escape from that immediately.”
The poor dears.
You know, nobody was giving the Adenauer government in West Germany passes in the 1950s because they were “living with the legacy of a certain type of politics.”