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by CTuttle

The Poodle ‘I could cash in a lot more than I do’ Blair is Deemed ‘persona non grata’ in Palestine

2:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Ma’an recently reported…

PLO to declare Quartet envoy ‘persona non grata’

The senior echelons of the PLO are expected to meet in the coming days to discuss a proposal to declare Quartet envoy Tony Blair “persona non grata,” a UK newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Telegraph said PLO officials were predicting unanimous support for a motion intended to isolate the former prime minister to such an extent that his position would become untenable.

We have been extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with Mr Blair’s performance since he became envoy, but particularly in the past few weeks,” a senior Palestinian official told the London-based daily.

There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair, particularly because of the very damaging role he played during our UN bid,” a second official was quoted as saying.

“He is considered persona non grata in Palestine. Although we can’t prevent him from coming here, we can hopefully minimise the role he can play because he is not a mediator, he is totally biased on one side.

Outstanding…! It’s about f*cking time…!

As an avid detractor of the Poodle, ever since the run-up to the Iraqi war, one of my favorite euphemisms being the ‘Butcher of Basra’, it is with great glee, that I’ve been reading the UK Telegraph’s recent reporting…

Tony Blair responds to Telegraph allegations about his ‘jet-set’ lifestyle

In an interview broadcast last night on India’s CNBC-TV18, in which he also defended his relationship with Rupert Murdoch and blamed the children of alcoholics, drug addicts and prostitutes for Britain’s recent riots, Mr Blair said recent allegations against him had been inspired by a left wing media establishment which resented him for creating New Labour, and a right wing establishment which hated him for winning three general elections.

His comments were made amid growing controversy surrounding his ‘billionaire lifestyle’ and alleged pro-Israel bias in his role as envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East – in which he mediates on behalf of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. [...]

I probably spend two-thirds of my time on pro-bono activity, I probably spend the biggest single chunk of my time on the Middle East peace process which I do unpaid,” he said, adding that he raises money for his foundation to fight poverty Africa and his India-based interfaith foundation. “I left office [in 2007] with two people and a mobile phone, I’ve now got about 150 people working for me. So if what I was interested in doing was making money I could make a lot more and have a very gentle and easy life. When you talk about a jet set life, it means I spend a lot of time in jets, which is true” he said.

He rejected claims that he had benefited from a deal to establish a second mobile telephone network in the Palestinian Authority, whose operator borrowed $2 billion from the merchant bank JP Morgan, which employs Mr Blair as an adviser, or from a $6 billion gas project in Gaza, where the operator British Gas is also linked to the bank.

The UK press sure can be relentless…

The Wonderful World of Tony Blair

…On the day Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official representative Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East. By January 2009 he had set up Tony Blair Associates – his international consultancy – which handles multi-million-pound contracts in the Middle East. It is so secretive we don’t know all the locations in which they do business.

Dispatches shows that at the same time as Blair is visiting Middle East leaders in his Quartet role he is receiving vast sums from some of them. If Blair represented the UK government, the EU, the IMF, the UN or the World Bank, this would not be permitted.

He would also have to declare his financial interests and be absolutely transparent about his financial dealings. But no such stringent rules govern the Quartet envoy.

However, he could opt to abide by the rules and principles of public life. They were introduced by John Major, and Tony Blair endorsed and strengthened them for all holders of public office – but chooses not to himself.

Mondoweiss’s Ira Glunts has offered up some great analysis on the Tool’s current plight…

PA says Tony Blair has lost all credibility (though he’s better than Dennis Ross)

When asked about his contribution to the peace process, Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy, former British Prime Minister and Bush poodle, can only point to the closing of a few Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and the gentrification of Ramallah. But then again peace is hard, to paraphrase our President and Hopemeister Barack Obama, who is a great Blair supporter.

Despite his glaring lack of success, it is said that Tony Blair revels in his role as envoy for the Quartet. Blair has apparently mixed his diplomatic position with his rapidly expanding business interests and some claim his private pleasure, in a manner which calls into question his ability to make any meaningful and unbiased contribution to resolving the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis…

One can only hope that the Poodle’s last flight is straight to Schiphol, and into the Docket…! For something at least, if not war crimes…!


by CTuttle

Bibi to Address The UN GA Same Day as Abbas Seeks UN Bid

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Ma’an had reported earlier today…

Netanyahu says will address UN next week

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would address the United Nations next week and urge Palestinians to negotiate peace with Israel rather than pursue a bid for full UN membership for a Palestinian state.

I have decided to convey these twin messages of direct negotiations for peace and the quest for peace,” Netanyahu told reporters. “I’ve decided to take this message to the UN General Assembly when I speak there next week.” [...]

It’s not an especially supporting forum for the State of Israel. It’s not a forum in which we will get applause,” Netanyahu said about the General Assembly. “But I think that in this forum too it is important that the prime minister of Israel turn up and state things as they are.

Anticipating a US veto in the Security Council, the only U.N. body that can approve full membership, Palestinian officials have indicted they would seek instead a resolution in the General Assembly that would upgrade Palestinian status to a “non-member state” from an “entity”.

Abbas has said such an upgrade would give the Palestinians access to the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. Israel fears Palestinians could pursue cases against it in those organizations.

Apparently, Bibi is really rattled by the potential ICC action…

Netanyahu: Israel will agree to upgrade of Palestinian status, not statehood

Israel would agree to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the United Nations as long as it is not declared a state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in talks with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, over the past few days. [...]

Netanyahu told his interlocutors that granting the PA the status of a state would allow the Palestinians to go to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over issues like settlement construction. “But as long as it is less than a state, I’m ready to talk about it,” a source familiar with the conversation quoted him as saying.

One of Netanyahu’s advisers also said that Israel would not object to the PA’s status being upgraded as long as it is not recognized as a state.

Both U.S. officials and Blair have been pressuring Ashton over the past few days to quash a French-Spanish initiative under which the EU’s 27 members would unanimously support a General Assembly resolution upgrading the PA’s status at the United Nations to that of a nonmember state. This initiative would give the PA the same status the Vatican now has.

In exchange, the PA would not ask the Security Council to grant it full UN membership or file charges against Israelis in the ICC.

Ashton, who had come to the region to gauge the parties’ response to the French-Spanish initiative, did not even discuss it due to this pressure. Instead, without consulting the EU member states, Ashton raised a proposal of her own that conformed to Netanyahu’s position.

Under Ashton’s proposal, the PA would be upgraded to a new legal status less than that of a state. Such a status currently does not exist at the United Nations, but would be created especially for this purpose.

This status would not give the PA the standing it would need to take Israelis to the ICC…

Whew, that’s some serious Kabuki theatre…!

Stay Tuned…!

God Help the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

Clinton: U.S. Plans New Push on Arab-Israeli Peace

8:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Reuters today…

The United States plans a new push to promote comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, suggesting reinvigorated U.S. role in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

…”The president will be speaking in greater detail about America’s policy in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks,” Clinton said at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a gathering sponsored by Qatar and the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

“America’s core interests and values have not changed, including our commitment to promote human rights, resolve long-standing conflicts, counter Iran’s threats and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies,” she added. “This includes renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.” [...]

“And while it is a truism that only the parties themselves can make the hard choices for peace, there is no substitute for continued, active American leadership — and the president and I are committed to that,” she added.

You know that it’s mighty interesting to see this renewed interest in a new Arab/Israeli peace push, considering the fact they’d just scuttled an EU/Quartet effort…

US blocks European Mideast peace bid:diplomats

…Washington would not agree to the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East holding a meeting in Berlin on Friday, diplomats said. Top officials from the US, European Union, Russia and the UN had already had one meeting in March pushed back. Britain, France and Germany had wanted to use the Quartet meeting to propose the outline of a final settlement to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

They have been pressing for a Quartet statement, setting out the framework for a deal such as borders and a land swap, which they hoped would revive direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Highlighting the trio’s disappointment, a European diplomat said: “We think it would have been high time for the Quartet to have a strong political message out there, so we regret this meeting will not take place.”

“There is increasing frustration on the Palestinian side,” said a diplomat from another European Union nation. Both diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, told AFP the three European nations “have been working at the highest level for the acceptance of these parameters to pave the way for the resumption of direct talks. It appears that Washington is not yet ready to accept this outline.”

It is very unfortunate,” he added. “We all know that if one wants to advance peace in the Middle East you don’t put the Palestinian question on the backburner, you put it on the front burner. There has to be a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians.

In Brussels tomorrow, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East Peace process, Robert Serry, is set to submit a UN report entitled: Palestinian State-building: A Decisive Period

UN: PA progress ‘sufficient’ for functioning state

…”In six areas where the U.N. is most engaged, government functions are now sufficient for a functioning government of state,” Serry’s report states.

Serry said the target for the completion of state-building activities, “is also the target set by the parties to reach a negotiated permanent status agreement to create a Palestinian state at peace with Israel,” the agency said. [...]

On Tuesday reports in Israel said its government was concerned of the increase in international legitimacy the idea of a Palestinian state had achieved, particularly efforts to secure recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, inside which Israel refuses to halt settlement construction. [...]

“The Palestinian state-building agenda are approaching their limits within the political and physical space currently available, precisely at the time when it is approaching its target date for completion,” Serry said and called on Israel to “roll back measures of occupation to match the PA’s achievements.”

In Ramallah Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the Palestinian government is ready to establish an independent state by September, the Palestinian News Network said.

Interestingly, as I’d remarked in one of my older posts: I’ll hazard to guess that Bibi’s not sweating all that much since he does, in fact, have O’bomber’s ‘pocket veto’…!

Well, ta da…!

Israel minister: US will veto Palestine declaration

…Israeli officials have said that the US will use its veto if the UN Security Council decides to vote on approving an independent Palestinian state.

Israel Radio reported that the US supports negotiations rather than unilateral steps.

Israeli minister Uzi Landau said Israel should announce the annexation of several huge settlement outposts and the Jordan Valley if the Palestinians announce statehood at the UN.

Remember, I’ve also said it was only considered ‘unilateral’ if the Palestinians decided to do it…!

Btw, If this ‘new push’ is anything like O’bummer’s initial 90 day bribe offer to slow down the Settlement construction, We the US taxpayer, and, the Palestinians are so screwed…!