Britain's former prime minister, Tony Blair, is taking a new role in combatting anti-Semitism in Europe, days after stepping down as the international community's Mideast envoy.

Blair revealed Thursday he will chair the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a group which champions legislation and dialogue on tolerance.

Writing in The Times newspaper, Blair and businessman Moshe Kantor argue that racism in the name of religion must be tackled with new laws. They cited a report by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University, which found 2014 was one of the worst years in the past decade for anti-Semitic incidents.

Blair quit last week, leaving a post that had begun with great hope but which struggled to deliver in its quest to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.