Tony Blair

William Hague: Israel and Middle East, not one or other

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

William Hague has said that Britain wants to have a good relationship with Israel, irrespective of this country’s links with countries in the region.

The Foreign Secretary, responding to questions put to him on Twitter, said: “We want strong relations with Israel as well as with other countries in the Middle East - it is not one or the other.”

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Praise for Israel's West Bank economic steps

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

The British government has praised Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel is to take concrete steps to advance economic growth in Palestinian areas.

The Israeli Prime Minister, along with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, revealed on Friday plans to help Gaza become more independent by developing its sanitation and water treatment plants.

The proposals also included moving forward with plans for a gas supply for the Palestinians, the revenue from which would go to the Palestinian Authority, and boosting exports from Gaza.

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Tony Blair: focus on peace talks not Palestine Papers

By Jennifer Lipman, January 28, 2011

Tony Blair has expressed concern that the Palestine Papers were leaked in order to destabilise the situation in the Middle East.

The former British Prime Minister who is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet, told the BBC’s Today programme that the documents were likely intended to be “extremely damaging” to the Palestinian leadership.

The papers, released by Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera earlier this week, have shed light on concessions allegedly offered by the Palestinians to Israel in 2008. However Mr Blair warned that the importance of the documents should not be overstated.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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".)

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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