Former British PM: Israel 'a Cause for Hope in the Region'
CBN News Tzippe Barrow
JERUSALEM, Israel – Former British Prime Minister and Middle East E.U. envoy Tony Blair says the Israel he's come to know over the years is open minded, tolerant and willing to work with others.
Blair, who spoke at the AIPAC conference earlier this week, says the Middle East needs more of what Israel has.
Israel, he said, is "a cause for hope in the region." He described the Jewish state as "creative, innovative and dynamic."
"If you want a cause for hope in the region, well, Israel's a cause for hope," he said. "So the fact is this is a place I've gotten to know well, and I just want to say that it's so important that we get this message across, not just in America but in Europe as well."
Blair, getting ready to make his 178th trip to Israel, says while Israeli politics are "argumentative, full of disputes [and] full of differences," the nation is nonetheless "vibrant and capable and what it's created is amazing."
Blair says there has to be a united front against Islamic extremists.
"It's a battle against extremism in favor of mutual respect across boundaries of race and faith and culture," he continued. "If we want the Middle East to succeed, we need to base this new partnership not just on interests, but on basic human values of dignity, respect and tolerance for all."
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is quietly exploring the possibility of inviting the Arab Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to a summit, the Jerusalem Post reported, quoting an anonymous Israeli source, who said, "I think it's feasible, but the question is what happens after."