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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tony Blair declares Bethlehem safe - what about Sderot?

Tony Blair stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bethlehem last night, to show that Bethlehem was a safe place for Christians to visit and to jumpstart the Palestinian Arab economy:
Palestine is a “safe destination” for tourists to visit, envoy to the Quartet Tony Blair said on Tuesday evening.

Speaking to journalists at a joint press conference with the Palestinian minister for tourism, Khouloud Daibes, in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, Blair said, “Bethlehem is a safe and good place to come.”

Citing Bethlehem as the litmus test for Israeli commitment to peace, he told reporters, “The real test of the sincerity of the Israeli side is if we really get change here in Bethlehem.”

I know the Palestinian Authority is prepared to do everything it can to meet any legitimate security concerns but really there is no reason why tourists can not come here safely,” he added.
I don't expect Blair to visit Sderot any time soon, to stay there overnight and to declare how safe it is. I don't expect him to refer to it as a "litmus test" on Palestinian Arab commitment to peace. I don't expect him to praise the PA over how well they are helping stop their own Fatah-based Al-Aqsa Brigades from firing rockets at Israel.

Sderot is not on the radar of the "peace" plan. Sderot cannot be found on the roadmap. The 20 rockets that were shot today towards Sderot are not considered an obstacle to peace. It is way too inconvenient to mention Sderot when talking about the sacred "peace process."

No, Sderot and its residents are not important to Tony Blair and the Quartet. Because if they are forced to think about Sderot, they would be forced to reconsider whether real peace is possible. They would have to recall that the peaceful Palestinian Arabs freely elected a terrorist government in their most recent elections. They would be compelled to remember that the Western-trained PA "security forces" folded immediately in their first real test.

No, the "process" is too important to be derailed by inconvenient facts. Blair knows he is safe from Israeli actions in Bethlehem, but he knows just as well that he is in danger from those peaceful PalArabs should he visit Sderot.

So he won't.