Tony Blair, the controversial former British prime minister who left office in June 2007 and then converted to Roman Catholicism, is back in the headlines. With Israel's military actions in Gaza this week, Blair has an influential role as an envoy to the Middle East for the Quartet on the Middle East (United States, United Nations, Russia, and the European Union). These four powers have been pressing for a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians and strongly favor a two-state solution.
After Israel launched its current military actions across the border with Gaza, Blair on Saturday told the news media in London, "The terrible events and tragic loss of life in Gaza require, in the immediate term, the introduction of a genuine calm in which the rocket attacks aimed at killing Israeli civilians and the Israeli attacks on Gaza cease so that the suffering of the people, which is severe, can be lifted. Then, as I have said many times before, we need to devise a new strategy for ...1