Former British PM and Mideast envoy for Quartet to chair European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which campaigns to halt discrimination against Jews, make Holocaust denial criminal offense.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is to take a new role fighting anti-Semitism after stepping down as a Middle East peace envoy, he announced Thursday.

Blair is to be the chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which fights anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.

Tony Blair at the Ynet studio last year.

The organization campaigns for European nations to make Holocaust denial a criminal offense, produce clear definitions of racism and anti-Semitism, and to have governments pay for security at Jewish schools and synagogues.

 Blair and Russian-born Jewish businessman Moshe Kantor announced the appointment with a joint article in British newspaper The Times, in which they warned of reports of rising anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, but one infecting the whole of society and needs to be tackled for the sake of us all,” Blair and Kantor wrote.

“States, international organisations and other actors must join together to tackle hate and intolerance. If we wait for our armies to act, it will be too late.”

Blair resigned as an envoy for the Quartet diplomatic group, representing the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, where he had worked for eight years to help mend the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Speaking to Ynet during last year’s war, Blair maintained that the European Union had a role play in the peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, but warned that “you can only do that if you have the trust of both sides.”


As reported by ynet