How to buy
NOW IN PAPERBACK - July 2014
For UK (and rest of world) orders buy direct from Bloomsbury at this link and use discount code GLR U2U.
For US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand orders buy direct from Bloomsbury at this link and use discount code V59 8RE.
Praise for 'Blair, Labour and Palestine'
'It is a clear and balanced account of the longer history of British foreign policy on the region when Blair was Prime Minister, and particularly after 9/11. If you are interested in what Blair’s policy actually was, as opposed to what the Ribbentrop-Molotov alliance of the right and the anti-left said it was, this is a superb account.' --John Rentoul (Read more at The Independent.)
'By offering a detailed analysis of the views held by Blair and key figures within the government and the Labour Party, Greene provides an important contribution that complements other scholarly work on British foreign policy towards the Middle East.' -- Benedetta Voltolini (Read more at the LSE Review of Books)
'This is a fascinating and important book which examines both the broad sweep of Labour’s attitude to Israel and Palestine over the decades, and looks in detail at how New Labour policymakers grappled with contradictory views – at home and abroad – of Israel’s importance to the Iraq war and to the growing threat of domestic extremism post-9/11. But author Toby Greene also does Labour a service by compellingly depicting how foreign policy – and, in particular, attitudes to the Middle East – has become akin to an identity badge in the modern politics of the left.' --John Woodcock MP (Read more at ProgressOnline)
'This is a clearly written account that contains findings that will interest general
readers, as well as scholars and students of contemporary British political history.' -- Dr. Tom Cordiner, University of Cambridge (Read more at Renewal)
'Tony Blair's approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict has been obscured because of the outraged reaction to his involvement in the invasion of Iraq. For many within the British Labour party, the issue became part and parcel of the megaphone war between New Labour and its opponents. It had little to do with the harsh reality and the profound tragedy that afflicted ordinary Israelis and Palestinians. Toby Greene has reclaimed the detail of Blair's worldview and demystified it for the interested student of Middle East politics.' --Colin Shindler, Emeritus Professor, SOAS, University of London, UK
'Public discussion of both Tony Blair and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all too often shallow and shrill, obscuring more than it reveals. In contrast, Greene brings light, depth and nuance to this important study of the statesmen who has played a more significant role on the issue than any other European in the first decade of the new millennium. Like him or loathe him, Blair cannot be ignored; and Greene does an excellent job of getting to the ideological foundations driving Blair's policy on Israel and the Palestinians.' --Dr Jonathan Rynhold, Senior Lecturer, Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
About 'Blair, Labour and Palestine'
Tony Blair’s policy decisions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena were among his most controversial and politically damaging. His response to the Second Intifada, and the Second Lebanon War, alienated his party more than any foreign policy issues aside from the Iraq War.
Yet whilst Blair’s and his government’s decision making in Iraq has been examined in countless studies, his approach to the Israeli-Palestinian arena has been barely examined. This is surprising given the intense public and academic interest in both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Blair.
This book uncovers Blair’s unique position on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the context of his overall world view, and in particular his response to the challenges presented by 9/11 and his views on political Islam.
The book argues that the marked gap between Blair and much of his party on how to approach the Israeli-Palestinian issue was rooted in different underlying world views. In particular, Blair’s neoliberalism and Atlanticism were not shared by many of the party rank and file, many of whom held some degree of attachment to post-colonial principles which Blair explicitly rejected. These ideological differences were increasingly significant after 9/11, as British policy makers attempted to understand the causes of Islamic anger against the West, and determine how best to respond.
This is a revelatory and readable account on a subject of considerable academic and public interest. It is based on author interviews with key players inside the Blair government, and unpublished documents released to the author under the Freedom of Information Act.