Blair Urges U.S. to Pressure Israel

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CBNNews.com - NEW YORK CITY - European Union special envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to pressure Israel for more territorial concessions.

In remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York this week, Blair said the time is ripe to renew pressure on Israel to cede more area to the Palestinians.

"I think there is a consensus now among the international community -- not just America, but everyone -- on how to deal with this [Israeli-Palestinian conflict]," Blair said.

"The question is now, what people will watch for. Is it [a Palestinian state] taken forward with the requisite urgency and determination? I have every confidence that it will be," he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview with israel national news, Yehuda HaKohen of the Zionist Freedom Alliance, called Blair "one of the biggest obstacles to regional stability."

"Tony Blair and other foreign leaders are responsible for fanning the flames in the Middle East," he said.

"In fact, it was the British who originally turned local Arabs and Jews against one another in order to further their own colonialist agenda for our region. And now Western governments arm both sides and then attempt to impose artificial diplomatic solutions," HaKohen said.

"The Israeli government and the PA [Palestinian Authority] leadership today both behave as puppets to foreign regimes and both the local Jewish and Arab populations are suffering," he said.

"The way to achieve real peace between peoples here is to work from the bottom up and not the top down," he said, echoing the thinking on this issue of Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu.

"The Jewish and Arab peoples are both native to the Middle East. We have a great deal in common," HaKohen said.

"But for efforts at genuine peace to succeed, Western governments and multinational corporations need to leave our region alone and let the indigenous Jews and Arabs settle things between ourselves," he said.

Source: israel national news

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