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Ignore Blair's Bullying

By Michael Freund
8/9/2006, 12:00 AM

Under fire at home for refusing to state when he will step down as premier, Britain's Tony Blair will visit Israel this weekend to try and squeeze the Jewish state into making concessions to the Palestinians.

Facing a revolt from within his own Labor party, many of whose members have opposed his support for the war in Iraq, Blair may well be tempted to try and calm their fury by pressing Israel.

Blair_playing_tennisAccording to media reports, Blair will stress to Olmert that progress in talks with the Palestinian Authority is "vital", even as Olmert seeks to focus on the Iranian threat in their discussions.

Simply put – Israel should ignore Blair and not take his demands all too seriously. He is a lame-duck Prime Minister who is vastly unpopular at home and who will be out of office within a year, at most.

Tossing Blair a political bone won't appease the British premier's critics at home, and it certainly won't help Israel's interests, either.

The best thing Olmert can do is to be a gracious host, offer Mr. Blair some tea, and when he starts making demands, simply show him the door and send him back into the waiting arms of his Labor party rebels back home in London.