Blair's New Initiative: Strategic Implications

Blair's new plan to strengthen Abu Mazen while bypassing the Hamas government is related to several significant political issues.

Today's Yedioth Ahronot reports that Britain's PM Tony Blair is about to present the EU with a new plan to strengthen Abu Mazen and avoid the PA's collapse. The initiative implies bypassing the Hamas government.

Blair's initative is related to a number of significant political issues:

  • Palestinian Representation – no address without Hamas: due to Hamas' control of the PLC and Fatah's internal power struggles, any attempt to create an address that does not include Hamas is not likely to succeed (see: No Palestinian political address without Hamas; Severe Crisis of Palestinian Representation).

  • International Involvement – decreased US dominance: the emergence of new political initiatives by various international actors, indicates a decline in US dominance in the region. The US may find it difficult to maintain its role as chief mediator in the political process between Israel and the Palestinians. (See: Is US Policy towards Hamas Constraining Israel?).

  • The issue of Israeli responsibility: Under current circumstances, any attempt to interfere in the Palestinian political system is liable to increase the existing tension between Hamas and Fatah and lead to the outbreak of a civil war. A civil war will increase the Israeli responsibility over the Palestinian population (see: From Civil War to Renewed Occupation).


  • Eichner, Yedihot Ahronot, 11/7/06.