Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blair: 'shocking' how little I knew about the Middle East when I was PM

Tony Blair was asked last night how his work for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation informed his work in Israel and the PA.

According to Ruth Gledhill of the Times,

He went on to say how getting to know the region through visiting it with the [Tony Blair Faith] Foundation had increased his understanding of the issues: 'One of the most surprising and perhaps slightly shocking factors, given that for 10 years I was leading decisions as British Prime Minister, is how much better I understand it now than I did then.'

Now, you might argue that this is only natural: after all, Blair is now the Middle East envoy -- of course he knows more now. But what he is actually implying is how little he actually knew about the Middle East then.

As he himself says, this is "slightly shocking". But it's not altogether surprising. After all, a great portion of Diaspora Jewry spends a great deal of time complaining how little European governments truly understand about the region.

Still, it is a brave thing of Tony Blair to confess. So now, how about a crash course for European prime ministers and presidents - while they're still in power?

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