The world has basically descended on Jerusalem, Israel, for President Peres’ Conference entitled Tomorrow13. One of the more illustrious speakers is Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister and present Quartet representative to the Middle East. He gave a wonderful speech discussing future hopes for the Middle East, in which he gave an inciteful analysis about the meaning of democracy.
First, we should stand up for true Democracy. Democracy is not just a way of voting but a way of thinking. It isn’t simply about how the majority takes power, but about how the majority then treats the minority. It is pluralistic in nature. It means treating all people equally, irrespective of race or faith. It means treating men and women equally. It means the rule of law in which citizens know judges are impartial and free from political pressure. It means religion in its proper place with a voice but not a veto. So whether it is in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia or in what comes next in Syria when the nightmare ends, there should be a constitutional settlement in which the rights of all are equal and guaranteed.