Tony Blair

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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Tony Blair: A two-state solution is best for Israel

By Jessica Elgot, March 23, 2010

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and envoy to the Middle East Quartet has described his vision for a safer Israel at the Aipac conference in Washington.

He said: “Israel is a democracy. The politicians are in fear of the people, not the people in fear of the politicians.”

Like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke at the conference yesterday, Mr Blair called the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit "a disgrace" and said that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

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Tony Blair: His speech to Aipac in full

By Jessica Elgot, March 23, 2010

"My job is to try to get agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, for the Quartet which tries to get agreement between the US, the UN, the EU and Russia. I thought after being Prime Minister of Britain for ten years I should try something easy.

I am always described as a friend of Israel. It is true. I am and proud of it and I will tell you why.

Israel is a democracy. The politicians are in fear of the people, not the people in fear of the politicians.

Citizens are governed by the rule of law. Men and women are equal before the law.

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Tony Blair: Middle East was my priority

By Jessica Elgot, January 29, 2010

Tony Blair has told the Iraq war inquiry that the Middle East process had been his priority for dealing with Islamic extremism, and that he was “frustrated” that the US had not done more.

Mr Blair said he kept pushing the Israel-Palestine issue: “You could describe me as a broken record through this period.”

But he stressed that he did not trade peace in the Middle East for the war in Iraq. He said: “It would not have been right to make [the Middle East] a pre-condition.

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Ex- ambassador criticises Jews on Iraq inquiry

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

The former British ambassador to Libya, Sir Oliver Miles, has criticised the appointment of two leading Jews to the Iraq inquiry.

Sir Oliver drew attention to the appointment of Holocaust historian and Winston Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and the war historian and ‘Blair doctrine’ architect Sir Lawrence Freedman, who advocated humanitarian intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The two men will be made privy counsellors in order to sit on the inquiry committee.

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Tony Blair backs inclusive Mitzvah Day projects

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Tony Blair has singled out Mitzvah Day as an example of “what faith is about: meaningful, tangible collective action”.

Mr Blair also applauds the efforts of Mitzvah Day organisers to “engage with those of other faiths”.

The day of good deeds on Sunday will see 15,000 people from across the community involved in 250 projects.

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Blair to speak at Reform convention

By Jessica Elgot, July 15, 2009

Tony Blair will be the star speaker at the North American Reform movement's 2009 biennial conference in Toronto.

The Union of Reform Judaism's conference is being held in November with 5,000 Reform Jews expected to attend.

Mr Blair, the former British Prime Minister, is currently Middle East envoy for the Quartet, which is made up of the United Nations, the US, Russia and the European Union, as part of the Middle East peace process.

Mr Blair met Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week to discuss ways to improve the Palestinian economy.

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Students join Blair interfaith project

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2009

Two Jewish students have been selected to take part in a Tony Blair Faith Foundation leadership programme tackling malaria.

Natasha Steele, from Edgware, and Stanmore-based Zac Newman will join eight other Faiths Act Fellows from Britain on the 10-month scheme.

They will undergo training in Africa and the United States with fellows from Canada and the US, before returning to the UK where they will work in interfaith pairs educating religious communities about the dangers of the disease.

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