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Blair's new job

July 01, 2007

Re "Blair is named Mideast envoy for the 'quartet,' " June 28

This position demands an impartial candidate with an excellent grasp of and healthy respect for human rights and international law. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has none of these qualities.

Let's review briefly. Blair is the co-architect of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. He supported the illegal invasion of Lebanon by Israel and the illegal withholding of Palestinian funds by Israel.

He has helped undermine the democratically elected Hamas government in the Palestinian territories and has never spoken out against the inhumane treatment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo.

It is patently clear that Blair represents the interests exclusively of Israel and of British and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Consequently, he has no credibility in the Middle East whatsoever.

RORY E. MORTY

Giessen, Germany

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It appears that Blair will have a narrowly constrained job description. Even if allowed to seek to promote the rule of law as among Palestinians, he will have no ability to rock the boat by speaking truth to power on the far more significant issue of promoting the rule of law as between Israel and the Palestinians.

The most grievous breach of law between Israel and Palestine is not the terrorism of some Palestinians but Israel's recent building of a wall inside the occupied territories, called illegal by the International Court of Justice in July 2004, and Israel's long-standing permitting and encouraging of Israeli civilian settlers to live on confiscated Palestinian lands inside the territories Israel occupied in 1967, also declared illegal by the court.

The thumb of the U.S. has long been on the scale of justice, preventing anyone from compelling Israel to comply with international humanitarian law. Who can expect that a just and lasting peace can result from a peace process so blatantly biased in favor of the stronger party?

PETER BELMONT

Brooklyn, N.Y.

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