Blair wants reality check
by: JTA - Last updated: 2007-11-06
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that Israelis and Palestinians must "get real" if they want peace. Blair, the envoy for the Quartet of foreign powers mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said both sides need to be more proactive for peace.
"This is the time for everyone to get real," he told the Saban Forum in a speech in Jerusalem. "Intentions will not suffice. Only actions will."
Blair, who has invested his energies in helping reform Palestinian Authority security forces and coming up with economic revival plans, had strong advice for Israel as well. "If Israel truly believes its long-term security is best served by the Palestinians having a state, it is time actually to make it happen; not to wait and see if it happens, but to push vigorously for the conditions in which it will happen," he said.
The Palestinians, Blair continued, must "accept the responsibility of statehood - taking the tough decisions to sort out their capability, most particularly on security."