Is Tony Blair Changing His Mind About Middle East Issues?

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been spending the past few months studying the Palestinian-Israel conflict and gradually realizing some of his past views on the situation are in need of being rethought. While at a West Bank checkpoint he asked Israel guards why Palestinian trucks could not be checked quickly and allowed to proceed without going through a rather elaborate security checking system. He was told the system required extensive checks and the trucks must wait. In the Hebron area, he was shocked to learn Palestinian farmers could only dig wells one third as deep as Israeli farmers which enabled the Israeilis greater access to water. Blair previously accepted the argument that Israel security was the number one priority but apparently is now shifting to believe security, political issues, and economic development are all linked and must simultaneously be addressed.

It would be helpful if President Bush actually spent time on his next trip to Israel visiting and talking with Palestinians about what happens in their daily lives. He might learn the importance for Israel to address issues that impinge on the lives of Palestinians.

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