Middle East special envoy Tony Blair said that the Arab Spring is going to make it harder to achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians at the present time, the Guardian reported Thursday. According to Blair, Palestinians and Israelis now find it difficult to make concessions to the other side, or even negotiate, because of uncertainties in how such compromises will be "played" out in a quickly shifting regional context.
In the forward to his new autobiography, The Journey, Blair said that the stability provided by autocratic leaders such as former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been replaced by instability and unpredictability, causing Israel to be unsure of the threat it faces.
The Palestinians, he explains, suffer an inability to negotiate "for similar reasons but with an opposite conclusion." The Palestinian leadership, he explains, do not feel they have a trustworthy Israeli partner, and will find it difficult to make compromises which "will be tough to sell, in circumstances where they don't know the regional context into which such compromises will be played."
Blair was prime minister in the United Kingdom from 1997-2007.