Former UK Prime Minster Tony Blair, who is currently the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, appeared on MSNBCs "Morning Joe Tuesday to talk about Israel and the Middle East. During the course of the conversation Joe Scarborough, the co-host of the show, asked Blair how he was able to help negotiate peace in Northern Ireland, and how he might be able to apply the same strategy to the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Here is The Algemeiners transcript of the conversation:
Scarborough: So it seems to me theres not going to beand listen you look at my votes in Congress Im as pro-Israel I should have a key to Tel Aviv on my wall in my office but were not going to have peace without Hamas being at the table. Were just notyou talk about what you can tell is going to happen, you may not be able to say thisas a strong supporter of Israel I know, if Hamas is not there then youre going to have them killing whoever makes the deal. So how do you move down from where they are to to how you move the IRA from where they were to
Blair: The key was we managed to get an agreement that the violence stopped. So in Ireland in order to get people in the door of the negotiating room the violence had to stop. So, in my view, if you were able to do that and they were prepared to be a part of a negotiation for a two state solution then you might be in a different position. The trouble is at the moment its very hard to say to the Israelis negotiate with them in circumstances where theyre firing rockets out of Gaza.
Scarborough: And still saying you dont have the right to exist-
Blair: Yeh, so would it be better if you had a Hamas at the table, yes, but in order to have them at the table in anything other than a totally unrealistic (continue reading...)