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Blair: ‘Sharon never changed, always sought to protect Israel’

Former UK premier and current Quartet peace envoy Tony Blair eulogizes Sharon.

Blair rejects “the idea that he changed from man of war to a man of peace. He never changed. His strategic objective never wavered. The state… had to be protected for future generations. When that meant fighting, he fought. When that meant making peace, he sought peace with the same iron determination.”

Quartet envoy Tony Blair eulogizes former prime minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem, Monday, January 13, 2014 (screen capture: Channel 2)
Quartet envoy Tony Blair eulogizes former prime minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem, Monday, January 13, 2014 (screen capture: Channel 2)

Sharon “didn’t think of peace as a dreamer, but did dream of peace,” says Blair, who, like Biden, praises Sharon’s “true love for the land of Israel — not only a country and a people but an idea.”

Blair recalls how Sharon was uncomfortable in formal meetings. So he invited him to his home, “where I saw a different Arik: warm, funny and compassionate.”

Also like Biden, Blair praises Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza, “a move nobody thought he would make.”

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