Appointment in Bethlehem

A Middle East meeting with Tony Blair yields insights into the connections between faith and politics

Nick Danziger / NB Pictures for TIME

Tony Blair talked with Time editors about his new initiative in Bethlehem on May 22, 2008.

After passing through the Israeli wall separating Jerusalem from the West Bank, you're quickly in historic Bethlehem, a small but vibrant city that feels biblical and modern at the same time. The main road is twisted and dusty, and the handsome buildings of white Jerusalem stone hold both fruit markets and Internet bars. The presumed birthplace of King David and Jesus of Nazareth, a flash point in the continuing and never-ending struggle between Israel and the Palestinians, and a city with an increasingly restive Muslim majority, Bethlehem was the perfect place to sit down and talk with Tony Blair about his...

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