UN ambassadors attend ECI luncheon to learn more about the status of Jerusalem under international law

New York – Although UN ambassadors are expected to vote on a Palestinian state and the future status of Jerusalem, few have any real knowledge of the status of Jerusalem under international law. Many admitted openly that the issue is taboo and others asked humbly for arguments to use if they chose to vote against a division of Jerusalem.
The ECI Diplomatic Luncheon for UN ambassadors in New York on Wednesday May 8th was a truly unique event. As Jerusalem Day this year fell on Victory Day, and only one day before Europe Day, Tomas Sandell drew the attention of the distinguished guests to the fact that Jerusalem Day is also a victory day. (See transcript of full speech HERE and an op-ed in Times of Israel HERE.) He also spoke about the centrality of Jerusalem in creating world peace, quoting from Isaiah 2 on a wall just across from the UN headquarters in New York.
Dr. Jacques Gauthier from Toronto gave a much appreciated lecture on the status of the Old City of Jerusalem according to international law. He pointed out that the Old City is included in so-called East Jerusalem which the Palestinians are claiming as their capital in a new Palestinian state. The international community as a whole seems to be backing this claim without really understanding how this is in breach of international law, and what the consequences would be for the Jewish inhabitants.

He quoted Article 15 from the Mandate for Palestine which clearly states that nobody within the Mandate territory can be discriminated against based on religion or ethnicity. The Jordanian authorities have consistently breached this article, as they have cleansed their populations of any Jews, as have other Arab states. The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has also pledged that there will be no Jews in a new Palestinian state, meaning that the Jews living in the Old City of Jerusalem would have to be evicted.
Dr. Gauthier handed all participants a copy of the original Mandate for Palestine which had just been sent to him from archives in Britain. He pleaded with the ambassadors, saying that Jewish people have been betrayed time and time again, and now it is time to stand up for existing international treaties and demand justice for the Jewish people.

UNESCO representative promises to take into consideration the message of the luncheon

New York – Amongst the 20 or so UN ambassadors and senior diplomats who attended the luncheon, was the Permanent Observer of UNESCO to the UN. UNESCO has widely been seen as the most hostile of all the UN organisations, but the representative was really open to the message presented at the luncheon.

‘This is vital information that I will pass on to our Secretary General and the observers who are being sent to Jerusalem next week to inspect the holy sites’, he said. He furthermore invited ECI representatives to have direct talks with the highest leadership of UNESCO at their headquarters in Paris.
Other ambassadors asked for concrete arguments and talking points should they choose to vote against the vast majority of the UN General Assembly who are demanding that Jerusalem be divided. A representative of one of the UN member states which consistently votes against Israel, thanked ECI for providing an opportunity finally to learn more about the issue. He admitted that they, as Permanent Representatives to the UN, are expected to condemn Jewish settlements and demand a division of Jerusalem, without really knowing anything about the international legal ramifications.
In talks with ambassadors and other informed sources in New York, it became clear that many Permanent Representatives to the UN do not get instructions from their Foreign Ministers on how to vote, but have to make up their minds independently, without any background knowledge. They simply follow someone else’s lead, often the EU, the African Union or the Non-Aligned Movement. So long as there is no coherent group in support of Israel, it is more or less impossible to go against the great majority of the UN General Assembly.
This means three things
- The European nations’ votes are important, as they are observed by many other, less influential, member states in the world.
- It is important to provide solid information for those Permanent Representatives who want to break with peer pressure and vote for Israel.
- It is important to mobilise those nations who want to vote for Israel, but do not want to be marginalised at the UN.
ECI can help by providing ambassadors with solid background information and talking points, as well as bringing them together with like-minded people. This cannot – by definition – be done by the Israelis and the influence of the USA is growing weaker. This is where a European Christian grassroots movement like ECI can play an important role.
Please would you help us financially to continue to strengthen those who want to stand up for Israel in the Valley of Decision at the UN? Your contribution is vital for us as we seek to reach out to the nations in support of Israel.

ECI Chairman honoured at Victory Day event in Jerusalem

Jerusalem – While one ECI delegation celebrated Jerusalem Day in New York, Chairman Harald Eckert took part in a large gala event in the Jerusalem Convention Centre, where he was honoured alongside other Christian leaders for his work in support of Holocaust survivors in Israel. Mr Eckert has been a steadfast supporter of Holocaust survivors and has been instrumental in taking German youth to meet and serve Holocaust survivors in Israel. The encounters of young Germans with old Israeli Holocaust survivors have a clear redemptive purpose. For some of them, this is their first encounter with a young German since the Holocaust.
Our longstanding ECI friend, Jobst Bittner, also took part in the conference, and was honoured for his role in initiating the increasingly popular March for Life, and for his book and ministry, to break the veil of silence within German families who were involved in the atrocities (His book with the same name, “Breaking the veil of silence”, has now been published also in English.) The event was organised by Helping Hand Coalition of Israel.

Pro-Israel rally in Brussels gathers thousands

Brussels – Some 2000 people came together in Brussels on Sunday, May 12th in a unique and peaceful manifestation in support of Israel. According to the organisers, a great majority were Evangelical Christians who wanted to express their solidarity with the Jewish state. The event is the result of several years of networking by the Belgian Coalition for Israel, the first national expression of ECI, established in 2010 by Raymond Vandeput and other leaders.
The Belgian situation is similar to many other European capitals, where the Muslim population is growing exponentially (Brussels is now 36 per cent Muslim) but where non-European evangelical and charismatic churches are also expanding rapidly. According to new estimates, there are now 150,000 Evangelical Christians in Belgium, many of whom are from ethnic, non-European churches where the Bible is regarded as the Word of God, and support for God´s plans for Israel comes naturally.
But the Israel rally did not come without a fight. City officials only granted permission for the rally 12 days before the event and then changed the venue.  Given the sensitivity of rallying behind Israel in a city with such a large Muslim population, officials were hesitant in granting permission. However, after the event the police praised the organisers for a peaceful and positive event. Next year the organisers expect an even larger turnout.
In the coming years, ECI plans to establish new national groups in European countries in order to better articulate support for Israel.

Stay in touch with ECI – choose your own level

In an ‘information society’ with an overload of communication, we want to give you the freedom to choose your own level of interaction with us
- The Monthly Reports and Press Releases give you an overview of what we are up to at ECI. We would also encourage you to watch our Monthly European reports from the European Parliament which can be viewed on Revelation TV in Britain, TV7 in Finland and Alpha and Omega in Romania. Please e-mail us for more information.
- If you would like to pray for us, you can choose to register for our weekly prayer update. We also encourage you to start small prayer groups to pray for ECI. Remember that the first Friday in the month is a day of fasting and prayer for ECI.
- If you like a daily interaction with ECI, we recommend our Facebook group and Twitter account, updated on a regular basis, often daily, but sometimes even several times a day.
We value your contact with us. Please feel free to send us an e-mail if you have any feedback or comments on info@ec4i.org

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

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