As Tony Blair began his mission yesterday to Israel/Palestine as the Quartet’s Peace Envoy, the BBC Today programme broadcast an interview with Efraim Halevi, former Head of Mossad for four years, in which Jeremy Bowen reported that Halevi “believes that the demand for the recognition of Israel by Hamas should go, because Hamas is a reality that can’t be ignored”.
Halevi stated: “This could be a policy….a faith-driven policy…you are driven not by realities but by faith. I believe that this is what should happen.”
Tony Blair may have been appointed to the position of Peace Envoy, despite his unpopularity with Hamas and the wider Arab world for standing by the USA in Iraq, on the basis of his tenacity in carrying forward the Northern Ireland peace process. Halevi’s statement may strike a chord with him, because of the history of that peace process, where secret talks were opened with the IRA during the Major Government before any concessions were made by the IRA over its constitutional demands for a united Ireland, and the Good Friday Peace Agreement was signed long before the IRA formally surrendered all its weapons.