Blair: Serious ideas needed for Mideast success

Dear Editor,

Your “Blair: Serious ideas needed for Mideast success” is so distorted – it cannot be called a report with the best will in the world.

  • “Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called on Israelis and Palestinians” – Equivalence, hiding that the Palestinians have been and are foot-dragging.
  • “moves by both sides to lay out their starting positions” – Blurs that Israel has been talking about its needs and the Palestinian leadership about preconditions.
  • “the West Bank, the territory squeezed between Israel and the Jordan River” – And Israel is squeezed between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea?
  • “Netanyahu demanded that any future Palestinian state be demilitarized and recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland.” – No, he did not demand but expressed Israel’s needs.
  • “He did not, however, spell out his position on the conflict’s most intractable elements – borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem, often called “final status issues.”” – These are for the most part the Palestinian issues. Why should he express Palestinian issues?
  • “Netanyahu has previously said that he will not allow Jerusalem to be divided.” – No, the vast majority of the Knesset has said so.
  • “Even Abbas has expressed some trepidation about the new round of face-to-face discussions and in a letter to President Barack Obama said he will withdraw if Israel [etc.]” – These are not “trepidations” but preconditions. They will not work anymore.
  • “skepticism, doubting the will of the Israeli prime minister and the ability of the Palestinian president” – The Israeli is mean-spirited, the Palestinian pathetic?
  • “an Israeli military court convicted prominent Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh for incitement for leading demonstrations against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank.” – Rather, the incitement was not “for incitement for leading demonstrations.” An hour before this final report, AP wrote “for incitement at demonstrations” but that must have been too true, so you rewrote that, even if it came out absurd.
  • “Israel says the barrier is crucial” – Why the disclaimer that “Israel says” – is it not factual?
  • “Palestinians call it a land grab as it juts into large chunks of the West Bank” – Small parts, actually. And where is AP’s reference to what necessitated the barrier?
  • “to keep out Palestinian attackers” – We beg you pardon? This is the new term for suicide bombers and other war criminals (assailants of civilians)?


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