Having finally obtained his visa from George Bush to visit the Middle East, Tony Blair must rank as one of the most unwelcome British visitors to the region in decades. This visit is too late for those Lebanese and Palestinians whose lives have been destroyed because he failed to stand up for the sort of civilised values that we in Britain used to respect and fight for.
If he had the remotest sense of shame, he would be visiting southern Lebanon to apologise for his collaborating role in Israeli war crimes, and to try to explain to Lebanese families why he was happy to condemn attacks on Israeli civilians but not on them. If he wants to regain an ounce of credibility for Britain in the region, we need positive concrete results, not smiles and handshakes.
Director, Council for Arab-British Understanding