Tony Blair appointed head EU council fighting anti-semitism
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (AFP/Carl Court)
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been appointed head of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a Brussels-based organization that fights against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Blair resigned from his post as the Quartet's Middle East envoy in May, after eight years of trying to push forward economic development and institution building in the Palestinian Authority.
"It is with great pleasure that I take on the honorary role of Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation," Blair said in a statement on Thursday. "The work they 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."
The Quartet representative said instances of radicalism, paired with rising anti-Semitism and surging Nationalist forces, threaten Europe's ideals of "freedom, equality and a desire for peace."
Such myopic intolerance, he said, must be rejected and rooted out of European society. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with them to promote our shared vision for the future: societies based on an open-minded, inclusive and tolerant worldview."