Christian Initiative promoting European-Israeli Cooperation

ECI concluded UN week by meeting Deputy Secretary General
– No place for Holocaust denial at the UN

New York, December 1st, 2012 - An intensive week of meetings with UN delegates in connection with the vote on the PA upgrade at the UN came to an end on Friday, when an ECI delegation was officially received by UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson.

The meeting marked the final phase of the ”Ban Holocaust Denial at the UN” campaign which was initiated by ECI earlier this year after European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, announced that he had outlawed Holocaust denial in  the European Parliament.

In May, ECI met with the head of the UN Holocaust Remembrance Programme in New York to announce the launch of a petition. The campaign was put on hold a few months later in September, after UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon spoke at the annual meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. At the meeting, hosted by Iranian leader Ahmadinejad, Ban Ki-moon stated that he ”strongly rejected any threat by any UN member state to destroy another UN member state or the use of outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust.”

On Friday, Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, thanked ECI for its work on  Holocaust remembrance and recalled how he had been President of the UN General Assembly in November 2005  when  the resolution to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day was unanimously passed at the UN General Assembly.  In that same year, 2005, ECI initiated the first Holocaust Remembrance Day event in the European Parliament.

-‘The message of Holocaust remembrance is universal and it has relevance in every culture and civilization’, Eliasson said in the meeting.

‘The ”Ban Holocaust denial at the UN” petition illustrates how civil society and the UN can work together to achieve concrete results’, ECI Director Tomas Sandell said.

He explained that although ECI had initially been highly critical of Ban Ki-moon’s decision to attend the Non-Aligned meeting in Tehran, it later retracted having heard of   the statements made by the Secretary General.

Explaining ECI’s strategy to Eliasson, Sandell said ‘ECI decided to wait until the opening session of the UN General Assembly in the last week of September, to hear whether the reprimands by the Secretary General had made any difference.
Although Ahmadinejad’s speech at the 67th General Assembly was highly questionable, it did not explicitly mention Holocaust denial.’

Eliasson was pleased to hear of  the recognition of the role of the UN Secretary General in speaking out against Holocaust denial, but added that ”we all played our parts”, hence also giving credit  to ECI and the ”Ban Holocaust denial at the UN” campaign in achieving its goal.

The high level meeting with Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson also marked the start of the 2013  ”Learn from History” campaign which calls on local churches and faith communities to honour the victims of the Holocaust in their Sunday services on the last Sunday in  January.  The next Holocaust Remembrance Day will be on Sunday, January 27th, 2013. More information on how local churches and faith communities can take part in the campaign will be added to the ECI website.


Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN

Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN

Help save the Peace process, vote for peace
Say no to a unilateral PA statehood bid

Your Excellencies,

The United Nations was created in 1945 in order to prevent war and settle disputes peacefully. Over the years, we have seen many conflicts resolved peacefully through negotiation, with the help of the UN. At other times, the UN has failed, with parties in dispute rejecting a peaceful settlement and walking away from the negotiating table.

Excellencies, tomorrow afternoon you will be faced with an important decision which relates to one of the first conflicts involving the UN, namely the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tomorrow, Thursday, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will apply for observer non-member state status at the UN. If accepted, it could mean the end of the Oslo Peace Process which clearly stipulates that ”neither side shall initiate or take any steps that will change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations” (Article 31).

November 29th also marks the 65th Anniversary of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine which promised two states for two peoples, Jews and Arabs, living side by side in peace. Sadly, the plan was rejected by one side who walked away. Instead of reaching out for peace, five Arab armies attacked Israel the moment the Jewish people declared the independence of the State of Israel on May 14th, 1948, based on the UN Partition Plan. As we mark this historic day, it is important to remember that there would be no Palestinian refugees today if the Arab side had simply accepted the UN offer. Instead of observing International Solidarity Day for the Palestinian people, we could tomorrow be marking the 65th Anniversary of an independent Palestinian state.

Excellencies, tomorrow you will be faced with another historic vote. The choice is once again between negotiation and unilateralism. There is no way to peace other than through negotiation. This was true in 1947 and it is true still today.

History confirms that unilateral actions, whether declarations of war or a unilateral declaration of a state, have never solved any conflict, nor led to a sustainable peace. In 1947, the Arabs missed a unique opportunity to have their own state.  Let us not be irresponsible and suggest that they walk the path of 1947 again. The Palestinian people deserve something better.

Your vote on Thursday can be a vote for peace, however in order to give peace a chance, you need to vote for resumed negotiations and not for unilateralism. This is why you need to reject a premature and unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

New York, 28th November, 2012



9th Annual ECI Conference in Brussels coincided with start of Operation Pillar of Defence
- Ashton acknowledges Israel´s right to self defence

Brussels, 15th November, 2012-  On the first day of Operation Pillar of Defence, the European Coalition for Israel met for its 9th Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels. The meeting opened with one minute of silence for the three Israelis killed in rocket fire from Gaza. In a statement to the new Permanent Israeli Representative to the EU, David Walzer, ECI Director Tomas Sandell expressed his condolences on behalf of ECI and reiterated Israel’s right to protect its civilians. The EU High Representative for Security Affairs and Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, issued a similar statement saying: “The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza which began this current crisis, are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop, Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks.”

Baroness Ashton, who was in Cairo on Thursday, was represented at the Annual Conference by Managing Director Hugues Mingarelli, who presented the current status in EU–Israeli relations. He portrayed the relations as ”good and dynamic but conditional on progress in the peace process in the Middle East.”
He was politely rebutted by Roland Freudenstein from the Centre for European Studies, who reminded the EU representative that ”it takes two to tango!”, indicating that the Palestinians are misusing the situation to stay away from the negotiating table in order to punish Israel.

All panellists agreed that a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN is counterproductive, as the only way to peace is through negotiation. Conference host, MEP Hannu Takkula, said that the problems in the Middle East will not disappear, even if the Palestinians get their own state, so  long as their overall aspirations are to ”liberate all of Palestine.” He was seconded by ECI Brussels Director, Andrew Tucker, who reminded the delegates  that the UN Partition Plan of  1947 was rejected by Israel´s neighbours, and that the day is still referred to as a ”Day of Nakba” (Day of tragedy) indicating  that the existence of a Jewish state as such is the core problem.

A new report by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Hidden Injustices, examining the Palestinian governing authorities through the lens of international human rights standards, was presented to the conference by Chief Council Calev Myers.
According to research conducted by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, the Palestinians have received an estimated 25 times more aid, per capita, than European citizens under the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction and economic recovery of Europe following WWII (taking into account currency inflation).

The report highlights the human rights violations regularly committed by Palestinian government authorities: arbitrary detention, torture and cruel punishment, violation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, violation of freedom of religion and minority rights, and the violation of the rights of women and children.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Sandell stated that “the billions of euros of aid given to the Palestinian governing authorities should be contingent on a demonstrated commitment to human rights reforms and increased financial accountability and transparency.

“EU tax payers as well as the recipients, the Palestinian people, have the right to ask why this amount of funding has not made more of a difference to their daily quality of life.
“ECI is not suggesting that the EU should stop supporting the Palestinian people, but we have a right, as tax payers, to know that the funds are being spent in accordance with their true objectives and are not being mismanaged or diverted.  But more importantly, the Palestinian people have the right to be protected from corruption, nepotism and mismanagement by their own leaders.

“If the EU wants to be a serious partner in the Middle East peace process, it  needs to start this process in Brussels, by allowing more transparency and better accounting of the aid given to the PA”, Sandell concluded.

The 9th Annual Policy Conference of the European Coalition for Israel brought together delegates from across Europe as well as from Africa, North America and Asia. The three day conference ended on Saturday.

European Coalition for Israel
P.O. Box 189
FI-00181 Helsinki, Finland
Tel.: + 358 9 6948056

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Final countdown to a Palestinian UN statehood bid?

Brussels - After several years of campaigning, the next weeks may prove decisive for the Palestinian bid for non-member statehood at the UN. Behind the innocent-sounding phrase lies a web of deception. An upgrade of the Palestinian Authority at the UN would be a de-facto recognition of the Palestinian claim for statehood. To quote the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas; “After the vote, Israel could no longer claim that it occupies “disputed territories” but it would be clear that it occupies another nation state.”

The two dates mentioned for a vote are November 15th and November 29th. The earlier the vote, the less time there would be for the US (who opposes a unilateral PA statehood bid) to organise a counter campaign. November 29th will mark the anniversary of the UN Partition Plan of 1947 which the Arabs rejected. This date is commemorated every year at the UN as a Palestinian solidarity day, thus manifesting the UN bias against Israel.

It has to be noted that if the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition Plan in 1947, they would already have a Palestinian state. Instead they chose to attack Israel. Furthermore, if the Palestinians had really been interested in a state of their own, they could have gone ahead and created it before 1967, when Jordan lost Judea and Samaria to Israel. These are now the “disputed territories” which the Palestinians consider “occupied” and claim as their own. There has still been no satisfactory answer as to why they did not create a state during the many years that the Arabs controlled the territory.

PA officials expect around 115 votes for their bid. These are mostly from Arab, African, Latin-American and Asian member states; there are currently 22 “no” votes, led by the US, and 56 “abstentions” in the 193 member organisation.

Europe hesitates while PA lobbies hard in key capitals

Brussels – In the last months the Israeli Government has been busy keeping an eye on Iran and its nuclear enrichment program as well as the developments in Syria where Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal could soon end up in the hands of Hizbollah. Meanwhile the Palestinians have actively campaigned to get majority support for their statehood bid in Europe. Last week the PA toured France, Germany, UK, Finland, Sweden and Denmark to try to convince these governments to vote “yes” for Palestinian statehood.

The moral battleground is now in Europe. European Union member states have not found a common position and it seems that the vote will be split between “no”, “yes” and “abstentions”. On Saturday, the EU urged the Palestinians to postpone their statehood bid in order not to interfere with the Israeli elections, which take place in January.

The European Coalition for Israel is planning a last-minute effort to counter the Palestinian diplomatic blitz. An ECI delegation visit to New York is scheduled for the last week of November where we hope to convince several undecided ambassadors to say no to a unilateral declaration. The trip will also coincide with the UN Solidarity Day for Palestine and a possible vote in the General Assembly on the November 29th.

ECI has campaigned for a negotiated solution to the peace process in the Middle East for more than two years, objecting to a unilateral Palestinian statehood bid, which would make the Old City of Jerusalem its capital.

Please would you help us during this last stretch before a UN vote? Whilst the PA campaign is sponsored by oil money and EU subsidies, we will have to rely on your generous support.

Church at the forefront in diplomatic war against Israel

Brussels – Last week a one-sided report using strong words, to criticise Israel for its settlements, was presented in Brussels. Behind the report is a coalition of mostly Christian Aid organisations: among them are Finn Church Aid from Finland, Diakonia and Church of Sweden from Sweden, Norwegian People’s Aid and Norwegian Church Aid from Norway, Dan Church Aid from Denmark, Christian Aid and the Methodist Church in UK and Cordaid from the Netherlands.

The report is calling on the EU to label Israeli products from the disputed territories in order for EU consumers to be able to boycott them more effectively. They demand that the EU bans settler imports and EU financial transactions with settler bodies, as well as discourages EU real estate purchases and tourism to settler territories. The report goes on to name and shame companies, which are active in the disputed territories.

The Israeli Government has slammed the report, saying that it singles out Israel in its demands to label the origin of goods, but fails to mention other countries where goods (or parts of a product) are produced in either occupied or disputed territories. They fear that a boycott of Israeli goods from the disputed territories may lead to boycotts of all Israeli goods, irrespective of whether they are made within the Israeli borders recognized by the international community or in the disputed territories.

The report is part of a wider NGOcampaign to isolate and demonise Israel as an aggressor and violator of international law. This campaign moved into a new phase at the infamous UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in September 2001, when international anti-racist organisations decided to make Israel their next victim and Zionism the key source of racism in the world. Many Jewish anti-racist campaigners who attended the conference, among them the late Tom Lantos (US Congressman and Holocaust survivor), reported that they had not experienced so much vicious anti-Semitism since the Holocaust.

Since Durban, many Christian organisations have adopted this agenda and are today campaigning actively with Islamic organisations and radical left wing groups against Israel. These are the same groups which are behind the Gaza flotilla and the BDS movement and are demanding boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel. (A few weeks ago BDS even protested against Barcelona Football Club for having invited the released Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to one of their games!)

The campaign to demonise Israel seems to gather momentum at the same time as tens of thousands civilians have been killed in Syria and religious minorities, Christians in particular, have been targets across the Middle East. The report fails to mention any of these facts or that Hamas still refuses to recognise the existential right of the Jewish state and are, together with Iran and Hizbollah, determined to wipe Israel off the map.

You can read their whole report here http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/Trading%20Away%20Peace%20October%202012_tcm15-63607.pdf

First diplomatic victory as Finn Church Aid removes anti-Israel campaign from website

Helsinki - Last month we reported on how our Finnish members had made contact with Finn Church Aid in protest of their divestment campaign.

This month, Finn Church Aid has removed the campaign from its website and has replaced it with a call to help fleeing Syrians, in line with ECI’s demands. Although the leadership of Finn Church Aid was very upset by the attention we gave their campaign, they have now partially retracted as the campaign can no longer be found on their website.

This is only a partial victory as the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is still supported by Finn Church Aid and they are also part of the coalition, which presented the paper in Brussels. Nevertheless, these developments prove that Christian NGOs are sensitive to well-founded criticism from their own constituency.

ECI helped raise awareness of the anti-Israeli campaign by directly alerting our Finnish supporters and later by engaging in media debate in radio and in print. Many phone calls were also made to board members and other church leaders who were completely unaware of the campaign.

Now you can do the same in your country

As a Christian believer in the countries where these organisations are active, you can make your voices heard by contacting them directly and also by alerting others about their activities.

Help counter their arguments by sharing our educational resources with your friends from www.givepeaceachance.info

Each individual should decide for themselves whether they can continue to support Christian Aid organisations which wage a diplomatic war against Israel but fail to help Christians who suffer in the region.

You can make a difference. Remember, the Holocaust started with boycotts of Jewish goods. If we do not act now, one day it will be too late.

Here are some of the facts.

- Judea and Samaria are historically part of Israel and were only renamed “the West-Bank” in 1948 after Jordan had captured and illegally occupied these territories which were promised to Israel in San Remo 1920.

- Judea and Samaria were recaptured by Israel in 1967 in a war of defence and therefore cannot be considered illegal. If this were the case in international law, it would mean that a nation can attack another nation and if they lose territory, claim it back later. This would lead to chaos in the international system.

- The disputed territories are, according to the Oslo accords, to be settled in a final and comprehensive peace agreement by Israel and the Palestinians. Any interference or boycotts in the meantime will only pull the two parties further away from each other. Settlements are not obstacles to peace. The demand to have a “Jew free” Palestine is an obstacle to peace.

- In conclusion: Whereas there are strong legal and historical arguments to defend the right for Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria the territories remain disputed under international law. Given the bigger picture in the Middle East and around the world, ECI is objecting to any campaign, which is singling out Israel as the only violator of international law. This disproportionate criticism of Israel (“double standards”) has been categorized as a new form of anti-Semitism by the EU Agency for Fundamental rights (Formerly EUMC) and should be recognized as such also by the Christian aid organisations.


Help ECI support Israel

Israel needs your help now. As you have read in this monthly report, ECI can make a difference both on a national level as well as at the UN and the EU.

Please help us financially reach out with our message to national governments, the EU and the UN.

Training is key. ECI will step up its efforts to educate and provide training resources for our activists. You can still register for the Training Conference in Brussels – ‘Israel and the Diplomatic War’ - in Brussels on November 16th and 17th by sending an e-mail to info@ec4i.org

We want to be your voice, your arms and your legs at the EU and at the UN, but at the same time train you to be active in your own country. Thank you for your support and partnership.

If you would like to support the work of the European Coalition for Israel, please click the "Donate" button beneath and you will find payment details, both for paying online and for bank transfers.

Editor Tomas Sandell tomas.sandell@pp.inet.fi


ECI to EU Foreign Ministers: - Help save the Peace Process in the Middle East

Brussels, October 12th, 2012 – As the Foreign Ministers of the European Union meet in Luxembourg on Monday 15th October, they can help save the Peace Process in the Middle East by firmly rejecting a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state at the UN next month.

In a letter addressed to the EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, and the EU Foreign Ministers on Thursday, ECI urged the EU leaders to make it perfectly clear that they must only support a negotiated solution to Middle East conflict and can under no circumstances accept a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state at the UN. EU financial assistance to the PA should be conditional on their commitment to keeping the agreements made under the Oslo Accords: these prevent either side from taking unilateral action.

This is ECI’s message in a letter written to the 27 EU Foreign Ministers just a few days before they are scheduled to meet in Luxembourg.  There they will try to unite behind a common EU policy on a Palestinian statehood bid which is expected to be debated at the UN in New York in November.

”In a situation in which the whole of the Middle East is in turmoil, the EU cannot afford more instability in the region”, the letter reads. ”The EU now has a special responsibility to monitor the situation, given that it is the single largest institutional donor to the Palestinian Authority, providing aid and assistance worth more than 600 million Euros a year.”

It is widely believed that without the support of EU taxpayers, the Palestinian economy would collapse overnight.
”This unsustainable financial situation hardly qualifies PA for statehood”, the letter observes. ”Furthermore, the fact that the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas,  controls only half of the territory that he claims for his proposed new state, seriously calls  into question his right to speak on behalf the Palestinian people.”

The Fatah leader, Abbas, has not been welcomed in Gaza since rival group Hamas effectively kicked out the Fatah leadership in 2007.

The letter concludes by stating that ”accepting an upgrade of the PA membership at the UN at this time would in fact kill the peace process and alienate the Israelis and the Palestinians from each other even further."

The conditionality of EU funding of the PA has been an ongoing debate at the EU. In 2005, ECI demanded that the EU re-evaluate its funding to the PA, by asking for an internal EU audit. Despite initial reservations, the EU Commission finally froze funding to the PA in December 2005, quoting arguments made in the ECI report. However, in the following month, January 2006, the EU branded terrorist organisation Hamas won the elections in Gaza due to the widespread corruption of Fatah. In 2007 the Fatah leaders were driven out of Gaza.

-’The EU should avoid repeating the mistakes of the past by uncritically and unconditionally funding and supporting the Palestinian Authority, but needs to call them to account’, ECI Director Tomas Sandell said in a statement in Brussels on Thursday night. ’There is no better time to do so than at the critical EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.’

European Coalition for Israel
P.O. Box 189
FI-00181 Helsinki, Finland
Tel.: + 358 9 6948056

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In writing this report, we have just returned from the UN in New York where we have spent a whole week praying, educating and advocating for Israel. It has been a most remarkable week, with many important meetings, and this month’s report will focus primarily on the outcome of the Opening Session of the 67th General Assembly and the PA statehood bid.  The week was a great success, but we need to stay alert, as the threats to Israel have not gone away, even though the world is now better informed about them than ever before.

Israel gets its message across on Iranian nuclear threat
– PA membership vote expected in November

New York – Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu managed to get the full attention of the international community as he spoke in the UN General Assembly on Thursday, 27th September. In his address, he explained in great detail the danger of allowing  the Iranians to get a nuclear bomb. The speech was a clear PR success as it made headlines around the world. His graphic illustration of “the red line” was displayed in print media as well as on TV. His message of warning came out in clear contrast to the apocalyptic vision of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian leader spoke enthusiastically about coming world chaos and disaster which would usher in the 12th Imam and a new Islamic world order.
Most of world media declined to report this part of his message but for those leaders who listened, it became crystal clear that he poses an imminent danger, not only to Israel, but to all mankind.

Because of the imminent threat from Iran and the upcoming US elections, the PA statehood bid got less attention this year. According to some media reports, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas had promised to use his UN address to finally acknowledge Jewish connections to Jerusalem, but instead accused Israel of ethnic cleansing. The PA is determined to continue its push for upgrade to UN membership. In order to avoid interference in the US Presidential elections, the vote is now expected later in November, possibly on the 29th, in connection with the anniversary of the UN Partition Plan.
Although a vote for non-member observer status may seem trivial to some, the ramifications for a yes vote would be detrimental to Israel. To quote PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat:
“Yes, the occupation will continue, the settlements will continue, the crimes of the settlers may continue, but there will be consequences. After the UN vote, Palestine will become a country under occupation. Israel will not be able to say it is a disputed area.”

ECI will continue to reach out to governments on your behalf and plans to be back in New York in time for the expected vote.

Whereas the campaign for PA statehood is being sponsored by oil money and indirectly also by the EU (your tax money), our work can only be sustained by your generosity.*

* Please note that the EU is the single largest institutional donor to the PA (over €600 million per year). In a recent report, the Israeli Government accused the PA of misusing the funds for political objectives, rather than for their intended objectives.

ECI prays “behind enemy lines”

New York – A main component of the ECI mission to the UN was   prayer. Due to some exceptional circumstances, members of the ECI delegation were able to effectively pray “behind enemy lines” at the headquarters of the Iranian delegation at the Warwick Hotel, just a few rooms away from Ahmadinejad. The Warwick Hotel was the only hotel in New York which was willing to host the Iranian delegation, which is now coming under increasing pressure from the international community.

Media reports suggested that the week in New York was a disaster for Ahmadinejad, as one member of his entourage defected and the Iranian currency hit an all-time low. As the international community increases pressure on the Iranian regime, many now hope that the Iranian opposition will be able to topple Ahmadinejad in time and set the nation on a new political course by giving up their nuclear ambitions.

Colombian president stands up for Israel at the UN

New York – While a majority, some say 150 of the 193 UN member states, are expected to vote for a unilateral declaration of a PA state, there are those who have the courage to stand beside Israel.  In a luncheon hosted by the America Jewish Committee (AJC), on Thursday, Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, received a statesman award for his courage, vision and leadership in refusing to accept a unilateral declaration, despite pressure from other Latin American countries.

Being a Security Council member, his support for Israel has been vital. In his speech he explained why he was willing to stand with Israel.
‘For me is not about courage, but about common sense’, he said. ‘Peace can only come through negotiation, not through manipulation.’ After the luncheon, ECI had the opportunity to greet him and thank him for his support.

At the luncheon, several members of the small Colombian Jewish community explained that the greatest supporters for Israel in Colombia are Evangelical Christians. On the day of the statehood bid, Christians had gathered outside the presidential palace to express their support for Israel. Since the Jewish community in Colombia is only a few thousand strong, the need for strategic partnerships is vital. Just as in so many other countries, the Jewish community in Colombia has found a partner in the Evangelical community.

Africa opens up as ECI meets with government leaders

New York – The links to Africa were further solidified as a small delegation met with the President of Benin Thomas Yayi Boni. Despite a hectic program with many bilateral meetings with other African Heads of State, the President took time to meet with ECI.

In the meeting, the President expressed his support for the work of ECI and welcomed us to Africa. ECI has been scheduled to visit the African Union for some time, but with an open invitation from one of the leaders of the African Union, it is clear that now is the time to go.

Whilst in New York, ECI also had other meetings with African officials and diplomats to explain the importance of standing with Israel at this critical time, with a nuclear threat and diplomatic war. At the same time, a delegation from Christians for Israel, consisting of ECI Chairman Harald Eckert, together with ECI Honorary Chairman, Willem Glashouwer and EU Liaison Officer, Andrew Tucker, visited Uganda. While in Kampala, the team managed to meet with the Chairman of the Ugandan Parliament who is also true friend of Israel. Christians for Israel is increasingly active in Africa where they have also assisted members of parliament to visit Israel.

ECI’s vision is to bring the Israel message “before kings and queens.” During the last few weeks, this mission has been accomplished in the most remarkable way. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and financial giving as we reach out to government leaders on your behalf.

The EU to discuss PA statehood bid at special meeting on October 15th

Brussels – The European Union will try to formulate a common position with regards to the Palestinian statehood bid at a special meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on October 15th. The EU has so far failed to unite on a common position. EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton continues to push an anti-Israel agenda but is being opposed by influential member states such as Germany, Netherlands and Poland as well as by many other member states in Eastern Europe.

Last time the issue came to a vote, eleven EU-member states voted for PA membership in UNESCO, with eleven member states abstaining and five voting against. The PA has met secretly with heads of EU missions in Jerusalem to seek their help in drafting a resolution for the UN General Assembly.

Christians can help Israel win the Diplomatic War
– Please sign up for Training Conference in Brussels in November

In an Opinion Editorial, which was published in the Times of Israel on Sunday, 23rd September (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-christian-legions-can-win-israels-diplomatic-war ), Tomas Sandell wrote on how the diplomatic war against Israel can be won by mobilising Bible- believing Christians from all over the world. The case in Colombia (see previous article) again proves the case; where there is a growing Evangelical community, there are also friends of Israel.

The latest date for registration is October 22nd, 2012. For more information please write to info@ec4i.org


In the September report there were two mistakes. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon visited the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran (not Aligned Movement). Mr Danny Ayalon is the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel (not Deputy Prime Minister). We apologise for the mistakes.

Thank you for your prayers. If you would like to support the work of the European Coalition for Israel, please click the "Donate" button beneath and you will find payment details, both for paying online and for bank transfers.

Editor Tomas Sandell tomas.sandell@pp.inet.fi


New York, 28th September, 2012

ECI mission to the UN accomplished
- Israeli warning to the world community must be taken seriously

After an intensive week of diplomatic meetings and outreach at the UN in New York, members of the European Coalition for Israel will be returning to Europe on Friday evening. Although the General Debate of the Opening Session of the 67th General Assembly continues until Monday, the high drama of the week came to a climax on Thursday lunchtime. This was when Israeli Prime Minister,Benyamin Netanyahu, addressed the General Assembly in one of his most important speeches ever. In his address to world leaders, he made it perfectly clear that time is running out for stopping Ahmadinejad from acquiring nuclear weapons. In a graphic presentation of how a nation can acquire nuclear capability, he illustrated just how close Iran really is to getting a nuclear bomb.
-’Allowing Iran to acquire nuclear capabilities would be the same as giving Al-Qaeda a nuclear bomb’, he said.
The speech was a clear rebuke aimed at the Iranian leader who earlier in the week had asked for a new Islamic world order and stated that ”the Jewish people have no history in the region.” In his opening remarks the Israeli Prime Minister reminded the audience that ”the Jews have a history of 3000 years in the land and  they intend to stay there forever.”

In New York, ECI Director Tomas Sandell, summarised the events of the week by saying that while the Iranian leader did not explicitly call for the destruction of the Jewish state, he did in fact call for world chaos and destruction in order to usher in the 12th Imam, an apocalyptic vision found in the Koran.
-’The good news is that the Iranian leader did not ”cross the red line” in calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state or denying the Holocaust. The alarming fact however, is that he did speak about the need to replace the current world order with a global caliphate under the 12th Imam’, Sandell said.
’Although this should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the Iranian leader over the years, the fact that the international media and the political classes at large have failed to understand and report the real meaning of his rhetoric, is a great disappointment and cause for concern.
 ’A man who is calling for world chaos and destruction is not the kind of person you can entrust with nuclear capabilities’, Sandell concluded.
’Although the Palestinian statehood bid did not receive as much attention this year as it did last, it is way too early to write it off. The Palestinian Authority has promised to bring back its unilateral declaration to the table after the US elections.
In their meetings at the UN, ECI stressed that peace can only come through negotiations and not through unilateral declarations.


New York, 25th September, 2012 –

ECI in New York as world leaders prepare for General Debate
– Time to stop Ahmadinejad is now

The ECI call for a ban on Holocaust denial took a new turn on Monday as Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defied a warning from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for having made inflammatory remarks and for anti-Israeli rhetoric at the UN. In a speech on Monday at a UN conference on the rule of law, he lashed out against Israel, claiming that "Israel has no roots in the Middle East", thus denying   3,000 years of Jewish history in the region. He went on to state that "Israel is just a passing phase in history", confirming his previous remarks threatening to "wipe Israel off the map of the world."

The remarks come just two days before the Iranian leader is to address the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations. Many leaders have expressed their concerns about that the arch enemy of the Jewish people will be able to address world leaders on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

'The time to stop Iran is now', said ECI director Tomas Sandell in New York on Monday. 'Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly neglected every call from the international community to inspect his nuclear weapons program while at the same time threatening to use his nuclear weapons to attack Israel. In a CNN interview on Monday night, Ahmadinejad refused to answer the question on whether he believed in the existence of the Holocaust'.

'The reputation of the UN Secretary General is now at stake', said Sandell. 'The measures the UN leader takes on Wednesday will demonstrate whether there is any political will to stop Ahmadinejad from using the UN as a platform for Holocaust denial and anti-Israeli rhetoric.

In January, The European Parliament issued a ban on Holocaust denial at their sessions in both Strasbourg and Brussels. The UN leader recently warned Iran that such language could have "potentially harmful consequences" for Iran.

ECI, which has called for a ban on Holocaust denial at the UN, is following the developments at the UN on site in New York, where they are meeting with national delegations and UN officials. A meeting with a top UN official is scheduled for Thursday, one day after Ahmadinejad's speech, to discuss the ECI campaign for a permanent ban on Holocaust denial at the UN.


Helsinki 19 July, 2012

A Christian Initiative promoting European-Israeli Cooperation
ECI calls on the EU to host an emergency conference to address the safety and security for Jews in Europe

Helsinki 19 July, 2012  - European Coalition for Israel expressed on Thursday its condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack in Burgas, Bulgaria where on Wednesday seven people were reported dead and thirty others injured in a terror attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists. In Helsinki Founding Director Tomas Sandell issued the following statement:

- This brutal act of terror reminds us of the sad fact that Jews still cannot live and travel safely in Europe or elsewhere in the world.  Just one generation after the Holocaust the situation for Jews has not normalized but they are still seen as legitimate targets for terror by those who are driven by the same convictions as Adolf Hitler. The massacre at the Summer Olympics in Munich in 1972 was not an isolated act of terror, nor was the massive bomb attack in Argentina 18 years ago. These, and other similar terror acts, prove the sad fact that the war against the Jews has not stopped.

- The European Union and its member states have a great responsibility to take action and stop this campaign of terror and anti-Semitism. Earlier in the year a Jewish kindergarten was attacked in Toulouse, France leaving three children and one adult dead.  In Brussels the EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton compared the terror act in Toulouse to other deadly accidents and tragedies in the world.  Whereas other leaders of the EU were more sensitive in their statements they all failed to mention any motives to the killings or the simple fact that the children were killed for one reason only - the fact that they were Jewish.

- The EU attitude demonstrates a broader ambiguity to the suffering of the Jewish people. Terror acts against Jews are widely portrayed as "tragedies" or "explosions", and no perpetrators or motives are indicated. This is a deep problem in Europe today, which is not restricted to the leaders of the EU but includes a large segment of the political class as well as the media. Given the European experience of the Holocaust and centuries of anti-Semitism the greatest responsibility now lays on the European institutions, which were founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, to build a new Europe where Jews can live in safety.

ECI repeats its call from April, at the time of the terror act in Toulouse, for an immediate EU emergency summit to address the issue of rising anti-Semitism and the risk that this poses to Jews living and travelling in Europe. May we not need another major terrorist attack against Jewish targets before the leaders in Europe wake up and take action.