Former British Prime Minister and Quartet envoy Tony Blair was one on a list of several international figures behind the failed move designed to legitimize the addition of the Zionist Union to the coalition, Haaretz and Channel 10 News revealed on Wednesday.
Two sources in the Israeli political system quoted in Haaretz said that Blair, while coordinating with and updating opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, is the one who pushed and encouraged Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s speech in which he called on Israeli political parties to agree on the need to advance the framework for peace with the Palestinians.
Of course, it appears that the move has failed for now, as Herzog froze the talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, after the latter turned to Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman and offered him the Defense Ministry if he joins the coalition.
While an announcement on Yisrael Beytenu joining the government has yet to be made official, the sides are engaging in talks and sources on both sides said Wednesday night Liberman could join the coalition as soon as Thursday.
Haaretz noted in its report that although Blair ended his stint as Quartet representative to the Middle East months ago, he has continued to act independently to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and Israel and the Arab world.