After Resigning as Mideast Peace Envoy, Tony Blair Tackles anti-Semitism in Europe

The former British premier will chair the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) as it 'takes its message to schools and universities around Europe.'

AP

DPA - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday announced a new role tackling anti-Semitism in Europe, following his resignation last week as a Middle East peace envoy.

Blair, 62, will chair the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) as it "takes its message to schools and universities around Europe."

Writing in Thursday's Times newspaper, Blair and Moshe Kantor, the ECTR president and head of the European Jewish Congress, said "racism and discrimination in the name of religion must be tackled with tough new laws."

The ECTR is aiming to reach out to thousands of students in Europe over the next two years and promote dialogue on "the rights of religious beliefs and the permissible limitations on exercising them."

The initiatives follow one of the worst years in the past decade for anti-Semitic incidents, Blair and Kantor said.

"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," they said.

The ECTR was founded in 2008 by Kantor and former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.