Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Former British prime minister Tony Blair has a difficult task as envoy for the four-power quartet made up of the United States, EU, UN and Russia and it is made doubly so thank to the naysayers who openly question his efforts to help bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians even before he starts the job.

The Telegraph's Tim Butcher highlighted the difficulties he faces in Blair's peace talks doomed, say ex-envoys which was reproduced in yesterday's Melbourne Age. In the eyes of the detractors, the problem is that Blair is dealing only with a Palestine Authority headed by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas and not Hamas.

Butcher dredges out some has beens whose previous attempts at peace making proved to be abject failures but heaven help us if any of them would ever admit to why they failed or point any blame at the unrepentant hatred and rejection of Israel or the violence of Hamas and the other terrorist groups.

No, to these people, there's one scapegoat for everything that goes wrong - it's always the Israelis.

In order to prove this point Butcher resorts to the usual smoke and mirrors tactic of obfuscation and the omission of pertinent facts. This is what he tells readers:-

"Mr Blair said last week that he saw reviving the Palestinian economy as the key to developing a two-state solution. But Mr Wolfensohn was scathing about Israel and America for failing to back his attempts in late 2005 to develop the Palestinian economy after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. He even partly funded the securing of Israeli commercial greenhouses in Gaza so they could be transferred to Palestinian farmers. But Israel closed Gaza's border and halted all exports."

Can you believe that?

Butcher conveniently sidesteps the truth about what really happened to the greenhouses that Wolfenson says he "partly funded".

In fact, they were destroyed by Palestinians before their farmers could produce a single flower or article of fruit for export out of Gaza so why associate the greenhouses with the closure of Gaza's border?

But Butcher also fails to elaborate on why the Israelis closed those borders or about the terrorist threats that preceded the closures. Would any other nation on earth allow their borders to remain open when they are subjected to threats of terrorist attacks?

This article did not find its way into the Mebourne Ageby accident. It's a perfect match because it provides enough blank pages material to demonstrate how a journalist can paint distorted pictures of the events taking place in this troubled region to suit a particular agenda.

No comments: