Tony Blair, outgoing Quarter envoy to the Middle East and the former Prime Minister of Britain, has been appointed chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), an international organization based in Brussels that fights against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
He succeeds Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of Poland
Blair said after his appointment:
The work they [ECTR] are doing is crucial, because despite our best efforts to build a consensus around tolerance in Europe, we still see injustice, discrimination and hideous acts of violence on the continent.
Incidents of extremism, rising anti-Semitism and surging Nationalist forces who seek to cultivate a spirit of resentment by playing on people’s fears, threaten our European ideals of freedom, equality and a desire for peace.
Among ECTR’s ongoing projects is the Model Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, designed to introduce legal parameters of tolerance across Europe. The statue has been introduced at the European Parliament and various national parliaments across Europe.
“In his role at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, it is clear that Mr. Blair has a strong commitment to the promotion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue through practical education, which aligns very clearly with the ECTR’s mission and goals.” Dr. Kantor added. “His international reach will also allow the organization to address globally the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.”
Blair’s big name and big bucks are a magnet for influential people, and his appointment could be a two-edged sword for Israel if he tries to “balance” a campaign targeting incitement against Jews by appeasing the Palestinian Authority with charges of racism against Israel for the chutzpa to sanction organized soccer teams in Judea and Samaria.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu