In an ad today in al-Ayyam newspaper, a group of independent
Palestinians published a letter stating, "We, the signatories…
notables, intellectuals and political figures declare that Tony Blair
[the British Prime Minister] is persona non-grata in our country."
The letter continued, "His hands are dripping with Lebanese blood. He is trying to come here to wash them with Palestinian water", referring to Blair's unconditional support for Israel's war with Lebanon last month in which over 1,000 Lebanese civilians were killed.
Tony Blair is planning to meet with Palestinian leaders on Sunday, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But the open letter published today by a number of prominent Palestinians said that the Palestinian Authority should cancel the talk with Blair.
Within the United Kingdom, Tony Blair is facing growing pressure to resign as Prime Minister due mainly to his Mideast policy and his alignment with the increasingly unpopular George W. Bush, current president of the U.S.
The letter reflects the widespread mistrust for the U.S. and Britain among Palestinians due to the unwavering support of those two countries for Israel, even while Israel engages, according to the letter's signatories, in widespread human rights abuses both against Palestinians and against the Lebanese people in the recent war.
But the signatories of the letter were not representing a particular political interest – none of them came from the two major Palestinian parties, Fateh and Hamas. They were mainly independent, or members of smaller parties.