Tony Blair

Tony Blair praises faith filmmaker

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has praised a young Jewish filmmaker who took part in his Faith Shorts film competition, and said his Faith Foundation was working to make sure more Jews participated at the next competition.

Mr Blair praised the work of ex-JFS pupil Lara Smallman and her colleagues for the four-minute film The Laugh Judgment. She was the only Jewish filmmaker shortlisted. Judges for the inaugural competition included Natalie Portman, Rabbi David Rosen, June Sarpong, and Hugh Jackman.

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Press TV rapped for flotilla show

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Iranian-backed Press TV has been censured by Ofcom, the broadcasting standards body, for its coverage of the Gaza flotilla incident.

A show presented by Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, breached guidelines on impartiality by including comments relating to Israel "committing a massacre of innocent civilians" and "a barbarous attack".

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Chaos over government counter-terrorism plans

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

The government is working to allay fears that its counter-extremism policy is floundering, three months after the coalition came to power.

Jewish leaders have expressed concern that not enough is being done to tackle the threat posed by extremists in Britain.

The Tories are thought to be ideologically split on the issue, with ministers also facing a backlash from civil servants opposed to Conservative policy.

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Mandelson on Judaism, Lord Levy and his JC dad

By Jenni Frazer, July 22, 2010

Lord Mandelson's book, The Third Man, Life At The Heart of New Labour has enjoyed a heady reception in the week since its publication. He has the relieved look of someone who has run a marathon without keeling over, as well he might, since he reveals that he only finished writing two weeks ago. "It only came off the presses the day before the launch," he says. "It was a high-wire act. Now I'm used to living dangerously, flying too close to the sun, but even for me it was a bit of a daredevil project."

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Quartet: Palestinians should oversee Gaza crossings

By Jennifer Lipman, June 22, 2010

The Middle East Quartet peace mediators have called for Palestinian security personnel to operate the crossings from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

In a statement, the organisation said there should be a Palestinian Authority (PA) presence at the border as a way of reuniting the area with the West Bank and placing pressure on Hamas.

Following Israel’s move to ease the land blockade by allowing most civilian goods into Gaza, the Quartet, made up of representatives from the United States, Russia, the EU and the UN, said they are exploring “additional ways” to improve conditions.

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Blair: the door is open for Hamas

June 21, 2010

Tony Blair talks to Richard Angell from Progress about Israel's decision to liberalise its policy on Gaza and his hopes for Middle East peace

Always known for being an optimist, Tony Blair doesn't miss the opportunity to launch into how the change in Israeli policy will make a difference to everyday Gazans.

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Gaza blockade to be eased quickly

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Israel has set out details of how the Gaza blockade will be eased to allow in increased building equipment and food.

Under the new plan, which Israel has said will be implemented “as quickly as possible” it is expected that all civilian goods will be permitted to go into the area unless they are specifically banned.

Food, domestic supplies and building materials for Palestinian Authority and United Nations approved construction will be allowed in, with only "problematic dual-use" that could be used as weapons or in manufacturing arms prohibited.

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Israeli cabinet discuss easing Gaza blockade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010

Israeli cabinet ministers have met to discuss relaxing the blockade of Gaza.

Members of the security cabinet are looking into allowing around 100 more goods into Gaza.

The meeting has been adjourned and will reconvene later with an announcement expected soon. It comes after the decision earlier in June to ease the blockade by allowing in provisions including Coca Cola, shaving cream and spices.

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Blair: Israel has right to check what goes to Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Tony Blair has said in an interview that Israel has the right to check supplies that are sent into Gaza.

Speaking on Israeli television, the former British prime minister and Middle East Quartet envoy said the Gaza blockade should be lifted but "when it comes to security, I am one hundred per cent on Israel's side."

Mr Blair added: "There's no question that there are rockets fired from Gaza and that there are people in Gaza who want to kill innocent Israelis.

“Israel has the right to inspect what goes into Gaza."

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Tony Blair praises Tzedek in Passover message

April 1, 2010

Tony Blair has paid tribute to international development charity Tzedek in a Pesach message.

"The need to repair a broken world, tikkun olam, is deeply embedded in Jewish community values," Mr Blair wrote. Tzedek was "making a real and sustainable difference to the lives of those living on the poverty line".

He took encouragement from the trend of "people of faith, and the Jewish community in particular, donating more and more to those outside their own faith and locality and giving to global causes".

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