ECI concludes one week mission to the UN

- Israel should not be left alone to face Iranian threat

New York, September 30th, 2013 – On Saturday, the European Coalition for Israel concluded a one week mission to the UN in New York in conjunction with the opening week of the 68th UN General Assembly. As government leaders from 193 member states gathered at the UN headquarters, ECI had private meetings with government delegations and UN diplomats where they reminded these leaders of the centrality of Jewish thought in achieving the overall objectives of this world organisation - that is, world peace.
’The words outside the UN headquarters, where verses from Isaiah 2 are engraved on the wall, illustrate the centrality of Jerusalem and the Jewish people in achieving world peace. The modern state of Israel should therefore be celebrated and not marginalised by the UN body’, ECI director Tomas Sandell said in a statement on Saturday.
One first step in normalising relations with the Jewish state and the UN is immediately to recognise and respect the Jewish High Holidays and abstain from organising important meetings on these days. This year the Prime Minister of Israel was unable to attend the opening week of the UN General Assembly because of the Jewish holiday of Succot. When the Palestinian delegation spoke in the UN, the whole Israeli delgation was absent - not in protest, but because they were observing Succot, the Feast of Tabernacles.
’No Christian leader would tolerate a UN meeting on Christmas Day, nor would Muslims accept taking part in meetings on Eid al-Fitr, the breaking of the fast on the last day of Ramadan. Leaders who follow Jewish traditions should not be treated any differently’, Sandell said.
More importantly, Israel is the only state which is threatened with annihilation by another UN member state, namely Iran. Although the new Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani struck a more moderate tone in his speech at the UNGA earlier in the week, the international community should demand concrete actions to ensure that he is willing to adhere to the demands of the international community and dismantle his nuclear program.
Although Rouhani is speaking the language of the Western elite, he remains an Iranian insider and a Shiite cleric, committed to the destruction of Israel.
History teaches us that nice words are not enough to achieve ”peace in our time.” President Rouhani continued to offer no concrete proposal as to how he would comply with the demands of the international community but seemed more interested in buying time and delaying the diplomatic process.
As Iran is about to cross the red line set out by the Prime Minister of Israel in his speech last year at the UNGA, the international community now seems less determined to stop the process and more inclined to wait and see.
Israel cannot be left alone to face this existential threat but needs the support and determination of the United Nations.  As September 29th marked the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the Munich Agreement the international community should remember the lessons of the past.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing the UNGA on Tuesday morning, local time.
This was the third consecutive year that the European Coalition for Israel has sent a delegation to New York to the Opening Session of the United Nations General Assembly.


Monthly Report - September 2013

The Jewish people are once again facing challenges on many fronts. It is interesting to note that God´s covenant with Abraham consists of two principal elements - circumcision of male infants and the promise of land. Today both covenants are challenged by the world community. In court cases in several European countries, the circumcision of male infants is being challenged on human rights grounds (the right of the child) and so is the promise of the land of Israel, despite the fact that it was confirmed and codified under international law back in 1920 in San Remo, Italy.

This is not the first time in history that the Jewish people have been challenged in these ways. During the Greek and Roman occupation of Israel (332 BC - 635 AD), all traces of the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel were erased and circumcision was banned. The Jews survived then and they will survive again - with your help -  by means of prayer, education and advocacy, but mainly because the Lord said so. However, we need to play our part.

ECI open letter to Ashton: 
“EU policy concerning Israeli settlements is flawed and must urgently be reviewed"

Brussels ? “EU policy concerning Israeli settlements is flawed and must urgently be reviewed”, writes ECI Legal Counsel, Andrew Tucker, in an open letter to the EU High Representative for Security Policy and Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton. In July, it was revealed that the European Commission plans to implement new guidelines for prohibiting funding of entities in the disputed territories. This Autumn, EU officials are working on additional plans to label goods produced in the disputed territories.

In the letter, ECI states that “EU policy grossly misrepresents historical and legal facts and that EU policy underestimates the geo-political conditions in the Middle East, and takes inadequate account of Israel´s security dilemma.” Tucker concludes by saying that EU policy in fact promotes apartheid in Arab Palestinian territories, since the effect of the EU policy is that Jews will be prohibited from living there. This is surely an unacceptable outcome of any EU policy!

The letter will be circulated to European governments in all EU capitals within the next four months, as the guidelines will be discussed on a national level. The CDU - Christian Democrats of Germany - have already indicated that they may oppose them in the EU. This will be one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by ECI. Please pray for a good execution as we reach out to our nations.

Speaker of the Knesset receives ECI in Jerusalem: 
- Your friendship and support is appreciated

Jerusalem - ECI ended the old Jewish year by travelling to Jerusalem for private meetings with the Government and the Knesset. ECI was invited to meet with the new Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, who expressed his gratitude for our visit which took place on the same day as the Knesset reconvened to discuss the military threat from Syria.
‘It is at times like these that we need your friendship and solidarity’, he said, and thanked ECI for all its efforts on behalf of the Jewish state.

Despite short notice, the ECI delegation was also able to meet with several government representatives to discuss our growing cooperation, especially as it relates to the UN. Ministers, as well as senior officials, agreed with ECI’s assessment of what could be done at the UN.  ECI has worked systematically for the last two years to help Israel make new friends by providing a platform to inform UN diplomats of the Jewish people´s legal rights. 
‘There are certain things that we can do, solely because we are not Israelis or Jewish’, Tomas Sandell said, and the Israeli leaders agreed. Our goal is simply to be helpful friends to Israel and from time to time we need to sit down and compare notes.

As well as meeting the Speaker of the Knesset, ECI also met with the Minister for Strategic Affairs and Intelligence, Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis, as well as the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the Director General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

ECI and the crisis in Syria

In the meetings with the Israeli Government, ECI also expressed its concerns over the ramifications of a US-led airstrike against Syria because of its potential repercussions for Israel. As much as the world community needs to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons, one must not forget the threat that the rebel forces pose to Israel and the Christian communities in Syria.

During the meetings it was stressed that the main areas of influence for ECI are prayer, education and advocacy. Whereas many may feel a sense of helplessness regarding the possibility of a military confrontation in Syria, we should never underestimate the power of prayer. ECI urges everyone to pray for a peaceful solution to the crisis - for the chemical weapons to be dismantled and protection for the most vulnerable in the region, including the State of Israel.

Why is ECI involved at the UN?

Our growing activities at the UN may leave some of our friends wondering why a European organisation needs to be active outside of the EU. The question is relevant, but so are the answers.

-  Historically Europe has always had an influence beyond its borders ? for better or for worse. This was of course also true of the Nazis. ECI feels that we, as Europeans, have unique but tragic experience which obliges us to warn the nations of the ramifications of growing anti-Semitism. Earlier, as in the 1930´s, anti-Semitism was geographically contained, whereas today it is being released on a global scale.

- We live today in an interdependent and global world. The enemies of Israel, be they BDS movements or others, are cooperating on a global level and so should the friends of Israel.

- In addition to this, we feel we have a calling into these new nations. This has been confirmed by the enthusiastic reception by the Israeli Government to our new involvement, as well as the many invitations to nations which seek closer cooperation with ECI.

We will not neglect Europe, but plan to strengthen our work on a European level to make it even more relevant at the global level. In the last few weeks, we have strengthened our organisation in several ways to make it more effective.

ECI invited to speak at African Government Leadership Summit in Jerusalem

African Summit JLMJerusalem ? ECI was invited to speak at the African Government Leadership Summit in Jerusalem during the last week of August. The Summit brought together leaders from government, business and church, to inspire them to become more vocal in their support for Israel.  In his speech, Tomas Sandell called for closer cooperation.  He said that Europe needed Africa and Africa needed Europe, and that Israel needed Europe and Africa working together in support of Israel.

There are currently several initiatives on the African continent to start an African Coalition for Israel and ECI is in close contact with a number of leaders.  Africa is one of the largest blocks in the UN with 53 nations, all of them, except South-Sudan, members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Together, Europe and Africa control a majority of the votes in the UN.

It has been said that the most recent wave of anti-Zionism was birthed in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001 at the NGO Forum at the UN Conference against Racism. Interestingly, the vision of a European Coalition for Israel came about at exactly the same time. It is important that Africa does not give in to the enemies of Israel, but together with friends from other continents, works to combat anti-Semitism in Africa and on a global level.

ECI partner launches website for upcoming German elections

German initiative2Berlin - The upcoming elections in Germany are of vital importance for Israel. Germany has historically been one of the closest friends of the State of Israel. However, in recent years, there have been some dissenting views expressed in Berlin which have caused some level of nervousness in Jerusalem.

Will Germany remain strong on Israel or will it follow the lead of other nations? In order to inform the German constituency of where the parties stand on issues vital to Israeli security, “Initiative January 27th” has set up a website to provide the answers.  Please watch and pray as the Germans go to the polls on September 22nd. The initiative is led by ECI Chairman, Harald Eckert, and Jorg Gehrke in Berlin. http://www.initiative27januar.org/


ECI mission to Jerusalem on the verge of US-led airstrike

The international community must act now to prevent Syria from using its chemical weapons

Jerusalem, September 2nd, 2013 - It is high time for the international community to become more vocal in its support of Israel. As violence escalates in Syria, according to western intelligence reports, there is clear and compelling evidence that the Assad regime has gassed to death 1,400 of its own people, including women and children. The international community must now take action to prevent further use of chemical and biological weapons, as the conflict risks escalating into Israel and other neighbouring nations. 

At the same time, friends of Israel such as ECI, must step up their efforts to help Israel win the diplomatic war.

This is ECI’s core message after a one week fact- finding mission to Jerusalem which is on the verge of a US-led airstrike against Syria in the coming days or weeks. The US would consider a military attack to be a punitive measure to deter future use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

In high level meetings with Israeli Government officials and Members of the Knesset, ECI discussed the current situation in Syria, as well as the ongoing diplomatic war against Israel at the EU and the UN.

Despite a specially-convened emergency session on the crisis in Syria in the Knesset, Speaker Yuli Edelstein took the time to meet with the ECI delegation which consisted of Perrine Dufoix, Gregory Lafitte and Tomas Sandell.

ECI presented its strategy to help Israel make new friends internationally, as well as empowering its existing friends with new support structures. The plans were also discussed in private meetings with the Minister of International Relations, Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Minister, Ofir Akunis, as well as senior officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

Earlier in the week, Tomas Sandell spoke at the African Leadership Summit in Jerusalem which brought together leaders from government, business and church in Africa.  In a powerful speech at the Summit, renowned anti-apartheid activist, South African MP Kenneth Meshoe, debunked the popular myth of Israel as an apartheid state.

‘For someone like myself who personally suffered under apartheid, it is a great injustice and insult to call the only democracy in the Middle East an apartheid state’, he said, promising to help international leaders understand the truth about Israel.

In meetings with African leaders, as well as with Israeli Government leaders, ECI committed to helping spearhead efforts to help Israel make new friends and win the diplomatic war.

‘One should never underestimate the power of prayer, education and advocacy’, Sandell said, making reference to the famous quote by Joseph Stalin on how many legions the Pope had. 
‘Whereas Stalin had military power, the Christians at that time understood the power of prayer and standing for truth and justice. These were the weapons that finally brought down the Iron Curtain.’ 

‘There are no more powerful weapons than prayer and proclaiming the truth about Israel and the Middle East. These same weapons are still freely available today and as Christians we need to start making better use of them again’, said Sandell, concluding his statement in Jerusalem.