4 June 2015 - Tony Blair has new role tackling antisemitism
Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism
Nicholas Watt (The Guardian)
Tony Blair is to take on a new role tackling antisemitism by assuming the chairmanship of a pan-European body that campaigns for stronger laws against extremism across the continent.
The British former prime minister has been appointed as chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation a week after he announced that he would stand down as the envoy of the quartet on the Middle East.
In an article for the Times, in which he sets out his plans for his new role, Blair says that he will campaign against the abuse of religions which has become a “mask behind which those bent on death and destruction all too often hide”.
Staff (The Telegraph)
Writing in The Times, he sets out the issues that prompted him to take up the role of chairman of The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), which campaigns for European countries to ban Holocaust denial and for governments to pay for security at synagogues and Jewish schools.
His move comes at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Britain and elsewhere, but will fuel criticism among Palestinians that he favoured Israel during his time as Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the US, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
In an article authored with Moshe Kantor, a Russian-born Jewish philanthropist and businessman, he writes: “We live in dangerous times. There have been three periods in the past hundred years when the annual GDP growth in Europe went below 1 per cent: first in 1913, just before the First World War, second in 1938, just before the Second World War, and third in 2014. Economic decline fuels instability.”
Staff (BBC News)
Mr Blair and Mr Kantor, who is also President of the European Jewish Congress, highlighted a report on global anti-Semitic incidents by the Kantor Centre at Tel Aviv University which found last year was one of the worst years in the past decade.
"It is our firm belief that it is not religion or faith per se that causes or foments conflict," they added. "It is the abuse of religion which then becomes a mask behind which those bent on death and destruction all too often hide."
They cited the Northern Ireland peace process, which Mr Blair was involved in, as a "prime example" of a situation from where lessons can be learnt.
"Globalisation is pushing us closer together so the effects of racism and discrimination increasingly undermine the fabric of society... states, international organisations and other actors must join together to tackle hate and intolerance."
Steven Swinford (The Telegraph)
Tony Blair will intervene in the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union in coming months as the party is plunged into disarray over the Labour leadership battle.
The former Prime Minister is expected to make the case for Britain to stay in the EU and warn that a vote to leave would mean "chaos" for business and diminish Britain's place in the world.
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"4 June 2015 - Tony Blair has new role tackling antisemitism", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2015. Consulté le 30/09/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/4-june-2015-tony-blair-has-new-role-tackling-antisemitism