Breaking: Blair hints quartet will recognize 'Palestinian' unity government without Hamas recognition of IsraelBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair is apparently listening to his sister-in-law. Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth (pictured with Hamas 'Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh), is a long-time supporter of Hamas who recently converted to Islam.
Since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, the West has consistently had three requirements for dealing with the terror group: That they renounce terror, that they recognize Israel's right to exist, and that they agree to abide by all agreements signed by the 'Palestinian Authority.'
Israel Radio reports (3:00 pm) that in a press conference with the Arab media on Monday, Middle East quartet envoy Tony Blair said that the quartet would work with a 'Palestinian' unity government if Hamas would renounce violence. Despite being asked twice by reporters, Blair did not say that the terror group must recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel Radio did not mention the third condition - the reporters may not have asked.
This is a serious breach for Israel. The assumption here has always been that the quartet - or at least the US - would abandon negotiations with a 'Palestinian' unity government that included Hamas unless Hamas accepted Israel's right to exist (whatever that means).
What could go wrong?