Former British prime minister Tony Blair has been hopping around the Middle East attempting to discuss possible peace overtures with just about everyone in sight. Israel wants assurances negotiation will work, Palestinian leader Abbas is trying to establish himself among Palestinians as someone who can move the peace process ahead, and Blair is trying to wiggle his way in such a manner as not to offend Condi Rice or Russia or anyone else with an interest in the Middle East.
A major problem stems from Blair’s refusal to have discussions with Hamas leaders. We can pretend Hamas does not exist, but they currently control the Gaza strip. They must be engaged with the peace process. On the periphery stands Saudi Arabia which doesn’t know exactly how deeply it will become involved in peace negotiations.