International Progressive Jewish Leadership Applauds Appointment of Former Prime Minister Tony Blair as Middle East Envoy
Yoffie, Bayfield, Regev, Rich: The volatile situation in the region demands a response from world leaders, and it is essential that the nations represented in the Quartet work together to help create a lasting peace in the region.
Contact: Vera Hollander, 212.650.4206, VHollander@urj.org
Emily Grotta, 212.650.4160, EGrotta@urj.org
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WASHINGTON DC, June 28, 2007 – In response to an announcement from the Quartet, (which includes Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations) about the decision to appoint former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to serve as special envoy to the Middle East, Rabbi Uri Regev, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism in Britain; Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism in Britain; and Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism of North America issued the following statement:
We welcome the appointment of Tony Blair to serve as a special envoy to the Middle East from the Quartet. Blair possesses the diplomatic expertise, personal charisma and moral commitment necessary for helping to bolster the prospects for peace in the region. His aid will come at a critical time for the region, and for both Israeli and Palestinian people who seek a peaceful two-state solution.
The volatile situation in the region demands a response from world leaders, and it is essential that the nations represented in the Quartet work together to help broker a lasting peace among all parties in the region. Historically, third party mediation has helped to heal conflict when long-held hostilities seem insurmountable. Such mediators have succeeded in securing peace agreements for Israel and her neighbors in the past. We are hopeful that Blair will be able to make progress, and we stand ready to work with him in any way we can.
The World Union for Progressive Judaism(www.wupj.org) is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, with congregations in 42 countries. The Movement for Reform Judaism (www.reformjudaism.org.uk) and Liberal Judaism (www.liberaljudaism.org) represent Reform and Liberal communities in Britain; the Union for Reform Judaism represents 900 congregations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. All are affiliates of the World Union.