“Turkey's relationships in the [Middle East] region, both with Israel and with the Arab world, are of incalculable value. No other country has the same potential to build understanding between Israel and the Arab world. I know that Gaza has led to real strains in Turkey's relationship with Israel. But Turkey is a friend of Israel. And I urge Turkey, and Israel, not to give up on that friendship.Tony Blair was always ridiculously one sided when it came to the Israel Palestinian dispute, even though he did recognise the need for peace to be made possible between the two sides. But it is simply unthinkable that Blair, whilst Prime Minister, would have (a) spoken out so forcefully against an Israeli attack anywhere, or (b) recognised Gaza as a prison camp. Indeed, after the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008/9 Blair said that he thought the debate about proportionality was "not really a sensible conversation".
Let me be clear.
The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable. And I have told PM Netanyahu, we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous. Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp. But as, hopefully, we move in the coming weeks to direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians so it's Turkey that can make the case for peace and Turkey that can help to press the parties to come together, and point the way to a just and viable solution.“
The UN famously later disagreed with him finding that war crimes had actually been committed. And yes, the UN also found the subject of proportionality to be rather relevant.
The 575-page report concluded that Israel used disproportionate force, deliberately targeted civilians, used Palestinians as human shields, and destroyed civilian infrastructure during its Dec. 27-Jan. 18 incursion into the Gaza Strip to root out Palestinian rocket squads.So, Cameron is to be congratulated for having a courage which Blair always lacked on this subject.
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