Ignore Blair's Bullying

Michael Freund,

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Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

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.

According 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.