This is the week that Britain's Guardian newspaper published a detailed article in which it was revealed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will serve as an economic advisor to the Egyptian government. Blair himself issued a rather vague statement and did not fully deny the newspaper's claim; we can assume, therefore, that he will advise the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, through one of his UAE-based companies.
From the bottom of my heart, I hope that this news is false and that our government in Cairo clarifies the situation as soon as possible. If it has made such an agreement with Blair, I hope that it will change its mind, pull out of the deal and apologise for this mistake. It is not wrong to make a mistake but the disaster lies in knowing that you have made a mistake and carry on regardless. There are many reasons why nobody should work with Blair but the most significant is that he has blood on his hands; everyone who works with him is guilty by association.
Tony Blair is accused by many to be one of the criminal masterminds behind the 2003 invasion and subsequent war in Iraq. The region is still paying the price for his move, which Blair and his US accomplice George W Bush justified on the pretext that Iraq was home to weapons of mass destruction. If it were not for Bush and Blair, the likes of Al-Qaeda and ISIS would not find such fertile ground on which to thrive. As a key adviser to Washington, playing up the threat of Islam and the Muslims, in reality it was Blair who gave violent extremism the opportunities that it now has.
The former British prime minister is also a key supporter of successive Zionist Israeli governments that have been guilty of killing and oppressing the Palestinian people. As a reward for his empathy and support, the global community appointed Blair as the Peace Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, supposedly committed to solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Until now, the evidence suggests that the Quartet is actually are committed to embedding the Israeli occupation, not finding a peaceful solution.
Egypt and the Arab world must be wary of working with an individual with such a dubious track record of advising regimes with poor human rights records. His actions do not accord with his claim to respect Islam and Muslims. How could we in Egypt reward such a person by appointing him as a government advisor?
He is a person who has acquired much of his personal wealth from international and Arab institutions since he left office. If reports are accurate, he stands to make even more money from contracts in countries with which he has contact in his role as the Quartet's envoy, leading to accusations of a conflict of interests. There have been calls for him to be sacked from his role as envoy.
Just because Tony Blair obviously despises the Muslim Brotherhood does not mean that he should be or deserves to be appointed as an advisor to the Egyptian government. There are many international figures with the skills and character to be advisors but Blair is not one of them, despite his many connections in Europe and America, which some believe he will use to Egypt's benefit.
Appointing Blair would dishonour the blood of the martyrs spilt in Iraq, Palestine and other Arab countries, including Egypt. Appointing this man would mean that we agree with each and every one of his policies, his ideology and tendencies, and it would imply that the victim loves his oppressor and wishes to be more like him.
I sincerely hope that the Egyptian government will release an official statement denying the Guardian's and other news website claims. We need to know that we will not appoint Blair whether it is us signing the agreement with him or a country like the United Arab Emirates or any other third party.
Translated from Shorouk newspaper, 5 July 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.