The Blair Option in Palestine

The release of an abducted BBC journalist in Gaza is being seen by some as an attempt by Hamas (which denies any part in the kidnapping) to curry favor with Tony Blair, who on stepping down as Britain’s prime minister was appointed international envoy to Israel and Palestine. Blair has the thankless task of helping the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas build institutions for a viable state, following Hamas’ military takeover of Gaza.

Given the stakes, this is a task worth doing despite the high risk of failure. But unless Blair gets a lot of unexpected support, failure is what will happen.

Four basic facts govern Blair’s role:

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