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Blair says two-state solution hinges on acceptance of Israel

Tony Blair said yesterday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only happen if there is genuine acceptance of the State of Israel.

Speaking at Bar Ilan University last night Blair said: “The two-state solution will only happen if first, there’s a genuine cultural acceptance of the State of Israel and Palestinian politics is unified and accepting of this, and secondly, by building the links between the Arab world.” He added:  “What I’ve learned dealing with this first hand is that the state of Israel needs to know that any independent state of Palestine is going to be properly and securely governed by people who genuinely have peaceful intent towards Israel. If that is an open question, then leave aside who the Prime Minister of Israel is, they will find it hard to make peace.”

Blair’s comments on Palestinian government appeared to be intended to back up Jared Kushner’s remarks in a recent interview. Asked whether he believed the Palestinians were capable of governing themselves without Israeli interference, Kushner said: “That’s a very good question. That’s one that we’ll have to see. The hope is that they, over time, will become capable of governing.”

Palestinian Authority spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said Kushner’s statement: “Constitutes a provocation and contempt for the Palestinian people, and reflects the failure of the US peace plan.”

Talking about UK-Israel relations Blair said: “I’m not just a friend of Israel because I come here often and I like the people, but because Israel’s security is about our security in the West. It actually matters to us. And it’s important we support Israel. It is a nation but it is also an idea. What Israel and the Jewish community worldwide stand for at its best is creativity, innovation and giving back. ”