Tony Blair

Alastair Campbell: what Brits really thought about Netanyahu

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu is an "armour-plated bull****ter" – or so was the view of Britain’s Foreign Office in 1998.

Alastair Campbell, the former Labour party spin doctor, has revealed that this was what “some of the Foreign Office guys” thought of Mr Netanyahu at the time of Tony Blair’s first official visit to Israel in April 1998.

At the time Mr Netanyahu was serving his first term as prime minister of Israel.


Why Bibi was in the soup

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

Tony Blair revealed one reason why he admires Israel at the Board of Deputies dinner on Tuesday. Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, he was dining with Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.


Tony Blair's Mitzvah Day message

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010
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The former Prime Minister offers his support for this year's Mitzvah Day


Dastardly Dick's dig

By Simon Rocker, November 4, 2010

The Board of Deputies' 250th anniversary bash with Tony Blair has sold so well, it's being moved to a larger venue.

Expect further snarls from Indie columnist Richard Ingrams, who recently had a go at Blair and the Board, calling it a "body of self-appointed worthies who make it their business to defend the interests of their country against its critics". (By "their country", he means "Israel".)


Blair to launch Haifa human rights celebration

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Tony Blair is to open an annual human rights event in Haifa this Chanucah.

The former UK prime minister will virtually launch the Leo Baeck Education Centre’s celebration of International Human Rights Day by lighting a candle on the first night of the festival.

Mr Blair will be opening the event on behalf of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

A special prayer has also been composed by rabbis from the Centre as a symbol of “commitment, as human beings, as Jews and so importantly for us at this time, as Israelis, to the values of Human Rights”.


Tony Blair warns on Islamic extremism

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

Tony Blair has claimed violent Islamic extremism has "outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised" the West.

He said too many people had accepted extremists' claims that military action was taken against Muslim countries following the 9/11 attacks because the West supported Israel and Jews rather than Palestinians and Muslims.

Speaking in New York, the former Prime Minister warned that extremism could not be defeated "without defeating the narrative that nurtures it". He said moderate Muslims were being undermined by the West's unwillingness to tackle extremists' arguments.


Blair bonus for board

By Simon Rocker, September 7, 2010

The words "crowd-puller" and "Board of Deputies" do not normally go hand in hand. But last week's Institute of Jewish Studies' conference on the Board's 250th anniversary proved such an attraction that some people had to sit in the aisles. One grateful guest even handed Board treasurer Laurence Brass a £500 cheque.

He will be hoping for similar largesse at the Board's 250th celebration dinner in November – whose guest of honour I can reveal will be Tony Blair.


Tony Blair: Lebanon war was fatal blow

By Marcus Dysch, September 2, 2010

Tony Blair has described in detail how his support of Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war caused him substantial political damage and accelerated his departure as Prime Minister.

In his memoirs, A Journey, released this week, Mr Blair wrote that his reaction to the conflict "probably did me more damage than anything since Iraq. It showed how far I had swung from the mainstream of conventional Western media wisdom and from my own people".

Western leaders had initially "queued up to advise Israel to stand firm and hit hard", he wrote.


Blair: Don't apply rules to Israel that you wouldn't apply to your own country

By Tony Blair, August 26, 2010

Former British prime minster Tony Blair nailed his colours firmly to the mast of Israel and democracy this week in a stunning address to press, politicians and diplomats in Herzliya.


Blair: we have a duty to listen to Israel’s side

By Jennifer Lipman, August 25, 2010

Tony Blair has declared himself “a passionate believer in Israel” and has said that there is a “collective duty… to argue vigorously against the de-legitimisation of Israel.”

The Quartet representative and former UK prime minister and made the comments at a symposium at IDC University in Herzliya.

Mr Blair called on European leaders not to “apply rules to the government of Israel that you would never dream of applying to your own country.