Tony Blair mentioned the other day that Hamas should be involved in the Middle East process. It takes the Hamas no less, to pull apart his thesis to shreds:
Hamas has dismissed a condition set by Mideast Quartet Envoy Toney Blair that the movement must recognize Israel before starting talks. Mushir al-Masri, the head of Hamas’s parliamentary bloc, said Saturday that raising this “suggestion” testifies that Blair is not familiar with the situation in the Middle East. He termed Blair’s suggestion as “utterly foolish and useless.”
In an interview with The Times published Saturday, Blair said Hamas must be involved in the Middle East peace process; however, the movement have to recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce ‘violence’. The former British Prime Minister admitted that any effort to exclude Hamas from efforts to establish a Palestinian state would be doomed to failure.
“I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms,” Blair said. Hamas is the supposedly democratically-elected ruler of the Gaza Strip by winning the majority in the 2006 Palestinian elections. Al-Masri said the Blair remarks reflect “a return to the same obstacles erected by the West, as an excuse to postpone Palestinian democracy, continuing the siege of the Palestinian people and granting the Zionist enemies the cover to commit their crimes – the last of which was the Gaza war and the refusal to recognize the legitimate parliament and government of the Palestinians.”
“Tony Blair’s words prove that Europe and the world understand that all attempts to uproot Hamas and erase it from the Palestinian scene have failed, and that today we are the first and foremost power” representing the Palestinians, the Hamas official added. “The only gate into the Palestinian issue and its transformation into any agreement cannot occur unless through Hamas – a movement that cannot be ignored.”