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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Blair wants Bush to pressure Israel

British Prime Minister Tony Blair devoted much of a brief speech congratulating President George W. Bush on his reelection Wednesday night to a call for a new coordinated effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Describing the need for such a solution as the 'single most pressing political challenge in our world today,' Blair urged the president to seek peace 'between Israel and Palestine' with the 'same energy' that he has pursued his agenda in Iraq. Blair placed this quest in the context of 'resolving the conditions and causes on which the terrorists prey.'

Blair's dramatic emphasis on the issue, and his pledge to work with Bush to advance it, underlined the British prime minister's desire to be seen as seeking a dramatic Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough in order to pacify the vast contingent of critics, inside and outside his own Labor party, of his firm alliance with Bush over the Iraq war.

And as we all know, devoting energy to I/P means pressuring Israel to keep giving Palestinians whatever they are asking for. -EoZ