ECI issues open letter as European Parliament and the UN Security Council consider unilateral Palestinian statehood

Brussels, 15th December, 2014 -  Having spent the last two weeks at the UN in New York and the EU in Brussels, ECI has sent an open letter to Members of the European Parliament, as well as to members of the UN Security Council, urging them to reconsider a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

‘A just and a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians cannot be orchestrated in the capitals of Europe or at the UN in New York, but can only come about through direct negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority’, said ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell in a statement on Monday. ‘The role of the international community is to help facilitate these negotiations, not replace them with unilateral declarations dictating the final outcome’, Sandell added.

On Wednesday, 17th December, on the Jewish holiday of Hannukah, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a non-binding resolution recognising a Palestinian state. Although the recognition would have no immediate political effect, its message would be detrimental to the peace process, Sandell believes.

‘The political message such a recognition would convey is that there is no need for negotiations or compromises on the Palestinian side in order to achieve statehood. This is an illusion’, warns Sandell. ‘The only way to reach a just and comprehensive peace agreement is through negotiations and costly compromises on both sides - not through unilateral declarations.’

The vote comes only weeks after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called for “a day of rage” in Jerusalem which led to the brutal murder of four Jewish rabbis while praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem.  Whilst Hamas remains committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, its moderate partner Fatah has also become radicalised in recent weeks, calling the mere presence of Jews on Temple mount “a contamination”. These and other statements of incitement have met with no protests in the EU capital, where parts of the European Parliament now want to rush through a recognition.

‘The EU cannot reward terrorism in one part of the Middle East, whilst trying to fight it elsewhere’, the open letter states. The EU’s main focus should be to fight Islamic radicalisation in the region and not punish the only true democracy and partner for peace.

The vote in the European Parliament is expected to be close. The left-leaning parties are committed to voting for statehood while the centre-right parties, by and large, are opposing it. Last week the second largest party group, the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, signed a new partnership agreement with Fatah, in an effort to further galvanise support for a Palestinian state.

In a similar letter to Ambassadors of Members of the UN Security Council in New York, ECI spells out the objections to a new UN resolution, imposing a solution to the conflict by dictating the conditions for a final peace agreement. The resolution, which is spearheaded by the Jordanians, demands full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank within two years and full recognition of a Palestinian state.

The letter is accompanied by an ECI position paper on Palestinian statehood written by ECI legal counsel Andrew Tucker.

‘It is clear that Palestine does not constitute a state under international law, as it violates the first principle of the UN Charter for accepting new members in the UN, namely the commitment to peace’, he notes. ‘You cannot call for the destruction of another UN member state and at the same time apply for UN membership’, he concludes.

‘There can be no peace in the region as long as the UN fails to address the growing incitement against Jews and turns a blind eye to the radicalisation of the Palestinian Authority’, Sandell adds.

There are currently efforts in New York to present the UN resolution on the same day as the European Parliament vote - in other words, on the day of Hannukah.

In little more than a month, on January 27th, the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz will be marked by the UN and the EU.

‘As Europeans, we have a moral obligation to remind the international community of our commitment to the Jewish people by ensuring that they will be able to live in peace and security in their ancestral homeland.  If the European Parliament and the UN Security Council support a Palestinian Authority containing elements committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, we have learnt absolutely nothing from history', Sandell concludes.

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As we send out this latest report, the ECI Annual Policy Conference is already behind us and part of the ECI team is back at the UN in New York. Others remain on their watch in Europe, where more national parliaments are considering a vote in favor of a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

The diplomatic war on Israel is gaining momentum. Now, more than ever, Israel needs our help. Would you please help us stand strong on the side of Israel this month by making a generous donation? We need your help. As this report confirms again, together we can make a difference.

ECI Calls Upon EU to Stop Funding of Hate

Brussels - ECI has called upon the EU to stop its funding of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as long as its leadership is responsible for incitement. In a panel discussion at the Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament two weeks ago, ECI Director Tomas Sandell challenged Christian Berger, the EU’s top official for Middle East policy, to make EU aid to the PA conditional on an end to the incitement.  Recently, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called the presence of Jews on the Temple Mount a “contamination” and called for “a day of rage.”

- This is not the language of peace but of incitement and hate, Sandell said.  If we are to ever have peace in the Middle East, we have to stamp out this hatred. The European Union has the greatest responsibility to do this, as it is the single largest donor to the Palestinian Authority.

- We cannot fight terrorism in Syria and Iraq and put it in power in Ramallah, he said?making reference to the fact that terrorist organization Hamas is part of the PA unity government that EU is funding.  Berger, who listened to the arguments without protesting, agreed that education is the key to the peace process in the Middle East.

The 11th Annual Policy Conference honored the four rabbis that were brutally killed while in prayer at their local synagogue in Jerusalem, with a minute of silence.  In his closing statement, Sandell noted that the best way to protect religious freedom and human rights in Jerusalem is to keep Jerusalem united as the capital of Israel.

- The alternative is clear. When moderate Jordan controlled the Old City, Jews did not have access to the holy sites. Today people of all faiths can pray freely in the Holy City; and, we should keep it that way, if we want to be faithful to our universal values, Sandell concluded.

After the debate, Mr. Berger received a copy of the most recent ECI briefing paper on Palestinian statehood, written and handed over by ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker.  In the publication, ECI argues for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict and rejects a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state without a negotiated solution.  You can access the briefing paper here.

Joint Statement for Persecuted Christians and A Coherent EU Strategy Against Anti-Semitism

Brussels  - Some ten million people were indirectly represented in a joint statement, which was signed and handed over to Director Christian Berger, the Head of the Middle East division at the EEAS on Thursday in connection with the ECI Annual Conference. The statement was issued in support for the persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, as well as in support of a coherent EU strategy to stop the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.

The statement calls for the establishment of safe havens for the refugees in Syria and Iraq, which also has the support of the largest political group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party.  The European Coalition for Israel together with European Jewish Congress, Pentecostal European Fellowship, and Canadian human rights organization?One Free World International issued this statement. The joint statement is an expression of an unprecedented cooperation between Christians and Jews in Europe.  The letter was well received by Christian Berger who called it “an urgent matter.”  You can read the joint statement here.

Egyptian Human Rights Lawyer Stands Up for Israel

Brussels - One of the signatories of the joint statement was Egyptian born Rev. Majed El Shafie from the organization One Free World International.  Even after being brought up to believe that Israel was the eternal enemy of Egypt, El Shafie is now a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. El Shafie, who was born Muslim but later converted to Christianity, explained his reason for supporting Israel as: Jesus Christ.

When he had to flee Egypt, he found refuge in Israel.  Today, he sees growth in the unity of Christians and Jews in support of religious freedom and human rights around the world.   At the conference, he emphasized that Hamas and Isis are fruits from the same tree of radical Islam and that the EU needs to treat them as one.  Hamas and Isis do not only hate Jews and Christians, they hate everyone who disagrees with their totalitarian ideology of Sharia law, he said.

Other speakers at the conference included: host MEP Bas Belder, MEP Lars Adaktusson, MEP Branislav Skripek, Deputy-Ambassador Ronen-Gil Or, Vice President Raya Kalenova of the European Jewish Congress, ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker, and ECI Chairman Harald Eckert.  On Friday, ECI organized a training day where, Andrew Tucker, Harald Eckert, Tomas Sandell, Gregory Lafitte, Elise Coolegem, and Faith Collins were speaking. ECI European Director Perrine Dufoix moderated the banquet dinner.  A video report from the conference will be posted in the next weeks.

European Parliament to vote on Palestinian statehood on 17th December - Time to contact your MEP now

On Wednesday, December 17, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution, which would encourage the EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state.

  • Please e-mail your member in the coming days and weeks to express your views on this sensitive issue.
  • Please write freely and use your own language when writing to your MEP.

Palestine is not a state under international law and does not meet the UN criteria for statehood:

- It does not have a governing authority, which is capable of governing the whole of the claimed Palestinian territories.  PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is currently not able to visit Gaza for fear of his life.

- Article 4 of the UN Charter requires UN member states to be “peace loving.” Terrorist organization Hamas, which is part of the PA unity government, continues to call for the destruction of the State of Israel!

For a more comprehensive documentation on the issue of Palestinian statehood, please read here.

Our message is this: We cannot support terror.  Recognizing a Palestinian state now, would weaken the prospect for peace.

Coming events

Global Prayer Call Conference in Krakow, 25th-29th January, 2015.

On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau ECI will co-organize a Prayer conference in Krakow.  This will mark the beginning of the 100 days of prayer and fasting, leading up to the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War 2 and the end of the Holocaust. On the evening of the 27th, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, ECI will co-host a concert in the synagogue of Krakow together with the Jewish community.

For more information see previous e-mail of 1 December or visit the conference website www.100-days.eu

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

Copyright (c) European Coalition for Israel


ECI Conference

ECI Conference Calls for Immediate EU Action for Persecuted Religious Minorities in the Middle East and a Stop to Anti-Semitism in Europe

Brussels, November 24th, 2014 - The European Coalition for Israel has issued a joint statement to the incoming President of the European Council and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, calling for immediate action in support of the persecuted religious minorities in Syria and Iraq and for a coherent strategy against the surge of anti-Semitism in Europe. EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, took office on November 1 and the incoming President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will assume office on December 1.

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the statement was read and handed over to the Director of the EU European External Action Service (EEAS), Christian Berger, in connection with the ECI 11th Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels. The letter, which calls for internationally monitored safe havens for the persecuted minorities in Syria and Iraq, is co-signed by the European Jewish Congress, Pentecostal European Fellowship, and One Free World International, making it a unique cooperation between Christians and Jews in support of religious freedom.

ECI Director, Tomas Sandell, noted at the conference that one of the few voices, which has been raised up in support for the persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq, has come from the Jewish community. When the world at large has kept silent, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, has repeatedly raised the issue at the UN level. In Brussels, Raya Kalenova, the Executive Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress, signed the joint statement. At the conference, she spoke about the importance of the moral support from Christians friends in Europe.

“Whereas each day of Jewish life in Europe is filled with uncertainty and security considerations, here I feel among friends”, she said. Kalenova, who spoke about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, agreed that it is high time that we address the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The joint statement was also signed by Egyptian-born, Human Rights activist Majed El Shafie, who expressed the need to stand together against the forces that want to erase religious freedom. Today, he is the Founding President of the organization One Free World International which works for religious liberty around the world. At the conference, he spoke about his life as a former dissident in Egypt, and how he found refuge in Israel. Having been brought up believing Israel was the enemy, today he is a friend of the Jewish state because of its values and principles, which protects minorities in a region where oppression is the norm.

The policy conference, which brought together EU lawmakers and officials with ECI activists from different parts of Europe, also made a call to the EU to stop the funding of hate. In his panel discussion with Christian Berger (EEAS director for the Middle East), Sandell noted that the EU is the single largest donor to the PA, and therefore needs to make the funding conditional on the end of incitement. He noted that the brutal killing of the four rabbis in the synagogue in Jerusalem on Tuesday was preceded by a call from PA leader Mahmoud Abbas for “a day of rage.”

“Incitement leads to action and those who fuel incitement need to be made accountable,” said Sandell. Berger agreed that education is the key to the peace process in the Middle East.

The conference noted the untimely vote in the Spanish Parliament that supported a Palestinian state, just a few hours after the massacre in Jerusalem.
“We cannot fight terror in Syria and Iraq, and put it in to government in Ramallah”, Sandell continued and was supported by Majed El Shafie who called Isis and Hamas, “the same expression of the one and the same hateful ideology of radical Islam.” Hamas, which has praised the recent massacre in Jerusalem, is currently a coalition partner of Fatah in the PA unity government.  A similar vote in the European Parliament is expected on Thursday of this week.

The conference, which was hosted by Dutch MEP Bastiaan Belder, also featured Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson, Slovak MEP Branislav Skripek, ECI Legal Counsel Andrew Tucker, and Israeli Deputy Ambassador Ronen Gil-Or, who all spoke up for the persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in Middle East and the need to stand together with Jews in Europe and Israel.

ECI Chairman, Harald Eckert from Germany, concluded the conference by stating that Europe has a moral duty to teach the world about the ultimate consequences of anti-Semitism.
“Seventy years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps in Europe, this educational campaign needs to be strengthened both in Europe and in the Middle East”, he concluded.


ECI condemns the massacre in Jerusalem - and calls upon the EU to review its funding to the PA

Brussels, 19th November 2014 - As the European Coalition for Israel is preparing for its 11th Annual Policy Conference in Brussels, which will address the volatile situation in the Middle East, it has issued a statement condemning the massacre of the four Jewish rabbis who were brutally murdered in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, while they were praying in their local synagogue. ECI calls upon the European Union to immediate halt its funding to the PA, as long as the incitement to violence continues by the Palestinian leadership. In 2005, during one of the first European Parliament policy conferences, ECI brought attention to the Palestinian mismanagement of the EU funding and called for an immediate review. The EU later froze the funding temporarily, quoting arguments made in the ECI policy paper.

On Tuesday, ECI Director Tomas Sandell renewed his call for a review of EU funding to the PA, as he addressed the recent massacre in the European Report TV - programme from the European Parliament. He noted that the killing came after an intensified Palestinian campaign of incitement, calling for a day of rage in Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly warned against any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, calling it a “contamination” of the holy site. On Wednesday, Abbas condemned the terrorist attack, but only after having been pressed by US Secretary of State John Kerry to do so.

There have been wide condemnations of the terrorist attack from all parts of the world, some citing incitement as the root cause for the violence against Jews.  Many organisations are now demanding greater responsibility by the EU, as the single largest donor of aid to the Palestinian authority.

On Thursday, ECI will renew its call for a full revision of the EU aid to the Palestinian territories, making the aid conditional on a cessation of the incitement.  The conference, which takes place on Thursday and Friday, will bring together European lawmakers and officials with ECI activists from all corners of Europe.



High Alert in Israel, the Middle East - and Europe

Brussels - As we finalise this month’s report, we can read in the media about a new wave of terror attacks in Israel as well as the continued genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. Still, the international capitals of the world, including Brussels, remain silent.

The silence and passivity of the international community to the sufferings of Christians and Jews in the Middle East, as well as the growing threat to Europe are key topics for our upcoming Annual Policy Conference next week. Now is the time to raise our voices and take action together. If you cannot join us in person next week, there is still an opportunity for you to support the work, which enables us to raise this voice. Our action is needed now.

Raising a Red Flag in Stockholm: Nordic Ministers Reject Joint Recognition of PA State

Stockholm - The last week of October, the international campaign of lawfare against Israel reached a critical tipping point. Although the Swedish minority government announced its recognition of a PA state on Thursday the 30th of October, it did so in splendid isolation. Not only did the decision lack the support of a parliamentary majority at home in Stockholm, Nordic neighbours flatly rejected the Swedish campaign to have all Nordic countries recognise a Palestinian state in unison.  If one government came out isolated, it was the Swedish government, which remains the only EU Member State to date to have recognised a PA state; thus, breaking with an EU decision to work for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a pledge not to engage with the terrorist organisation Hamas.

Although the British vote in the House of Commons in favour of recognising a PA state on the 13th of October was disappointing, it does not change the position of the current British government, which remains committed to its obligations under international law.

As a small organisation with limited resources, ECI decided to concentrate on the fight in our own backyard: the Nordic countries. The Swedish decision was, in contrast to the British vote, a governmental decree, hence determining the official stance of Sweden. But, Sweden is important mainly as part of a broader Nordic block, not on its own. At the UN, the Nordic countries are seen by many as humanitarian super powers and trendsetters, despite being relatively small countries. (Two of the first UN Secretary Generals were Scandinavians.) If the other Nordic countries had followed the Swedish decision, it would have been disastrous indeed.

Nordic Council ministersFor this reason, ECI chose to mobilize support in the Nordic countries and to be on site in Stockholm when the Nordic Council (The regional organisation of the Nordic countries) met for its annual session; and, the Swedish government attempted one last time to convince its Nordic colleagues to follow their example. They refused ? for now.

The same week, ECI hosted the first-ever Nordic Israel Breakfast in connection with the Nordic Council annual session; and, a new Nordic Israel friendship group was announced.  As a result, the friends of Israel in the Nordic countries have come out of the recent crisis more motivated, more empowered, and also more aware of the need to come out strongly in support of Israel.

ECI continues to monitor the situation in the other EU Member States.

UN Yom Kippur Talks Continue - in Geneva & Vienna

Geneva - At the same time as the issue of UN recognition of Yom Kippur is being debated in the Fifth Committee at the UN in New York, ECI is also raising the issue at other UN headquarters around the world. Last week, ECI UN Director Gregory Lafitte met with senior officials of the UN Offices in Geneva and Vienna to discuss how recognition of Yom Kippur could be implemented in these European capitals of the UN.

The UN Secretariat has taken a pro-active approach in working together with ECI to try to find a practical solution to add Yom Kippur as a UN holiday. By engaging constructively with the UN structure, we have been able to move things forward. A new visit to the UN headquarters in New York will take place in the first week of December.

From Brussels - To the Ends of the Earth

Brussels - The influence of ECI and its partner organisations is not limited to Europe, though Europe remains our home base and main focus at all times. In the last few weeks, ECI Chairman Harald Eckert has travelled around the world in order to raise awareness of the need for each nation to stand with Israel during this critical time. In the last two weeks of October, meetings were organized in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Fiji Island, Brazil and Mexico.

In the same way as Germany (and Europe) had a global influence for evil in the 1930´s and 40´s, today, we can choose to have a positive influence. This is the core vision of ECI; and, its activities around the world.

Harald Eckert´s message has been well-received. In the Pacific Island of Fiji, the visit was very timely, as the question of the nation´s support for Israel at the UN has been questioned for the first time in their national capital. The support of the Pacific Islands at the UN has been a source of great encouragement for Israel for many years; and, the visit by Harald Eckert encouraged the island to remain steadfast in its support and to not change course.

In a Muslim nation which Eckert visited, he was asked to come back in order to speak on national television.

This is all part of the Global Prayer Call, which encourages Christians to pray for their government to support Israel and recommit to their responsibility to stand up for the Jewish people in connection with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The 100 day campaign will start with a conference in Krakow, Poland from the 25th-29th of January and end with a conference in Jerusalem from the 10th -13th of May. Please read more about the campaign and the upcoming conferences.

Editor Tomas Sandell tomas.sandell@pp.inet.fi
Copyright©European Coalition for Israel


ECI applauds decision by Nordic Prime Ministers not to follow Sweden

Swedish recognition of Palestinian state violates Oslo Agreement

Stockholm, 28th October, 2014 - ECI applauds the decision of the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway and Denmark to refrain from recognising a Palestinian state despite the decision of the Swedish Government to do so.  The annual session of the Nordic Council began in Stockholm on Monday, and on Tuesday ECI hosted a breakfast meeting for delegates of the Nordic Council. At the meeting, Founding Director Tomas Sandell urged the Nordic governments to respect international law by not supporting a Palestinian state.

In the meeting, which took place in the Swedish Parliament, the ECI director indicated how Stockholm’s recognition of a Palestinian state could nullify the Oslo Agreement which clearly states that ”all outstanding issues should be decided through negotiations.”
‘Unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state violates both the spirit and the letter of the Oslo Agreement’, Sandell said in a statement in Stockholm on Tuesday. He went on to say that the Swedish Government should stand up for the rule of law and not for lawlessness.
‘Isis and Hamas are two expressions of the same Jihadist ideology which is currently threatening to drive the whole Middle East region into an abyss. One cannot condemn one (Isis) and embrace the other (Hamas). By recognising a Palestinian state which is co-governed by the terrorist group Hamas, which has sworn never to recognise a Jewish state, and uses its own civilians as human shields, Sweden is undermining respect for international law and human rights, while at the same time weakening Israel, the only democratic state in the region.

‘The democratic instinct should be to stand up for the weak and the oppressed. Today Christians and other religious minorities are being slaughtered in Iraq and Syria by Jihadist forces which are similar to Hamas who rule Gaza. Only in one country in the region, Israel, can Christians and other religious minorities live in peace and security.

‘It is not in the interest of the international community, nor in the interest of the Palestinian people, to create another repressive Islamic state in the Middle East, with no respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights. The Swedish Government is contradicting itself by catapulting a Hamas co-ruled Palestinian authority into statehood, while neglecting to support those who are facing a genocide under the same Jihadist movement.’

The breakfast meeting was co-hosted by MP Roland Utbult and MP Mikael Oscarsson from the Swedish Parliament.



This month's report is a mixed bag of good news and bad news. One does not need to look very far to find some bad news concerning the situation regarding Israel in the Middle East or for the Jewish people in Europe. The recent example of the new Swedish Government and its intention to recognise a Palestinian state, without a negotiated peace agreement with the Israeli Government, is obviously bad news. The good news however, is that the idea of recognition of a Palestinian state by a Nordic bloc does not seem to be happening, after Finnish President, Sauli Niinisto, rejected the idea on Tuesday. In this report, you will find more good news from an unexpected corner of Europe - Albania - as well as from the United Nations in New York.

Please help us report more good news from Europe and the UN by supporting our work financially. The battle for the minds and hearts of the people is fierce - but together we can help bring about more good news!

ECI High Level Breakfast in the UN receives support from PM Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

New York - A new chapter of UN history was perhaps written on Tuesday, September 30th, as the first-ever meeting officially to mark Yom Kippur in the UN was held in the UN Headquarters in New York. The ECI-sponsored High Level Breakfast meeting, “The Spirit of Yom Kippur - Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Seasons of Conflict” gathered UN diplomats, UN officials and other VIPs to learn more about conflict resolution and peace-building, inspired by the message of Yom Kippur.

Through presentations and personal testimonies, real-life examples were presented, demonstrating how people groups and political leaders can reconcile in this day and age ? from the German-French reconciliation after WW2, to the unique process of healing and unification which took place in Rwanda after the genocide of 1994.

The powerful message of keynote speaker Ambassador Karel Kovanda (former Deputy Director General of the European Commission External Action Service)(Picture 1) and Rwandan Ambassador, Jeanne d’ Arc Byaje (Picture 2 together with Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN Harald Braun), were combined with personal reflections on the meaning of Yom Kippur from Malcolm Hoenlein (Picture 3) of the Conference on Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations, and Israeli Permanent Representative to the UN, Ron Prosor.

Gregory Lafitte and Tomas Sandell shared the vision behind the breakfast meeting, explaining the need to recognise the many contributions of the Jewish people to the creation of the UN and to world peace.

‘All around the UN we see examples of these Jewish contributions - from the Norman Rockwell mosaic of the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) to the Isaiah Wall and its universal vision for world peace’, Lafitte said.

The new ECI initiative - Forum for Cultural Diplomacy - aims to build on these principles, in order to strengthen the original values and objectives of the UN, and better include Israel in the family of nations.

Whereas other world religions have their holidays recognised at the UN, Jewish holidays have no such recognition. ECI is currently involved, along with the Israeli Government, in asking for UN recognition of Yom Kippur.

The historical significance of the breakfast meeting was illustrated by a personal letter from Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu who thanked ECI for all its efforts to make Yom Kippur a UN holiday.  There was also a letter to ECI from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, describing the event in the UN Headquarters as ‘very important’.

The recent High Level Breakfast meeting proves that Israel has more friends in the UN than what is generally perceived to be the case, and that these nations can be mobilised if we use the right approach. The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy will continue to raise awareness of Jewish contributions to the international community as we reach out to more UN member states.  At this point, ECI has met with some 70-80 UN missions in New York, in constructive and positive discussions about Israel. There are currently 193 member states in the UN.

(Photos by Arnold Brower)

ECI delegation meets with President of Albania
Receives invitation to celebrate Hanukkah in Tirana

New York - Only one nation had more Jews after the Holocaust than it had before. This nation is Albania, one of the smallest and poorest nations in Europe, but with a heart for the Jewish people.
A delegation from ECI was received by the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, during his visit to the General Debate of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in the last week of September.  In the meeting, President Nishani expressed great interest in the work of ECI and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy and our remit to strengthen relations between Europe and Israel and to protect the Jewish people.

It may come as a surprise that Jews were so well protected in this predominately Muslim country, but Albania continues along this path today. In the UN vote on Palestinian non-member observer state status in November 2012, Albania belonged to a small group of nations who abstained, despite the country being formally part of the Islamic Bloc. The country was later harshly criticised by the Turkish Prime Minister for having failed to support the Palestinian cause.

The President explained his country's close relations with the Jewish state and their growing trade relations as something very positive. The President was one of very few European statesmen to have attended the 90th birthday party of former Israeli President, Shimon Peres, and last year he hosted a Hanukkah party in Tirana in recognition of Jewish culture in the nation. At the end of the meeting, the President kindly extended an invitation to the ECI delegation to attend the next Hanukkah party to be held in Tirana in December. He also re-iterated that the Albanian Government is interested in working with ECI to enhance good relations between Israel and Europe and with the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy at a UN level.

The case for Albania is not unique. A number of countries in the world are currently drawing closer to Israel to learn from its dynamic developments and start-up culture. ECI is proud to support these relationships and facilitate their support on an EU and UN level.

New government in Sweden plans to recognise Palestinian state - but other Nordic countries unlikely to join

Stockholm - The plan of the new Swedish minority government to recognise a Palestinian state has launched a diplomatic avalanche in the Nordic countries, with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja hoping to join the Swedish campaign and then try to convince the other Nordic governments to follow suit.

The Swedish plan may still hit some major hurdles at home as the opposition parties do not agree with the new position. The Swedish initiative was not a complete surprise. Earlier in the year, future Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, had made a statement in sympathetic support of Israel on his Facebook page, which, as a consequence, was flooded with anti-Semitic messages of the most violent nature. The Prime Minister later had to delete his statement and has apparently been forced to give in to the strong anti-Israeli lobby in the party.

In 2008, the Social Democratic Party made an agreement with the Muslim Council in Sweden, promising to support the Muslim cause in exchange for political support from the Muslim community.  But the anti-Israeli sentiments in the party date back to the 1970s, when Olof Palme expressed his support for Yasser Arafat. In 1983, Palme was the first Western leader to receive Yasser Arafat and present him as a statesman and not as a terrorist leader. The current leadership of the Social Democratic Party has been involved in close relations with the terrorist group Hamas.

The Swedish plan however, violates international law and the criteria for statehood according to the Montevideo Convention.  This states that a prospective state needs to control its own territory and have settled any border disputes before it can receive statehood. “The Palestinian state” meets neither criterion, as the territory is divided between Hamas and Fatah and the Palestinian Authority has yet to settle its border disputes with Israel.

ECI was able to respond to the Swedish declaration on the very same day that it was announced, through a widely-circulated commentary in the newspaper Varlden Idag, explaining why the declaration is against international law. These arguments were later picked up and quoted in speeches and articles in Sweden and other Nordic countries and may have helped galvanise a defence against recognition of a Palestinian state.

By engaging in the public debate with relevant arguments, ECI can help shape the debate in favour of Israel.


European Coalition for Israel 11th Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels,
20th -21st November, 2014.

‘EU-Israeli Relations - 70 years after the Liberation of Auschwitz’

Seats are limited, please pre-register today. More information with details for registration will be sent out in the next days.

Editor Tomas Sandell tomas.sandell@pp.inet.fi
Copyright © European Coalition for Israel


ECI hosted High Level Breakfast meeting in the UN Headquarters in New York in preparation for Yom Kippur

New York, 3rd October, 2014 - On Tuesday, ECI hosted a historic event to honour the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur in the UN Headquarters in New York. The High Level Breakfast Meeting, ”The Spirit of Yom Kippur, Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Seasons of Conflict”, took place in conjunction with the General Debate in the UN General Assembly. In a letter to ECI, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, called the event, ”an important meeting in the UN Headquarters.”

In his keynote speech, former Deputy Director General of External Relations at the European Commission, Ambassador Karel Kovanda, spoke about forgiveness and reconciliation in seasons of conflict.
'Reconciliation is a bottom-up process.  It starts with reflection, regret, remorse and apology, then redemption and perhaps even atonement,' he said. He differentiated between reconciliation between elites (as in the case of France and Germany), between peoples (as between Germans and Jews) and on an individual level (as in the reconciliation process in Rwanda). But he also mentioned nations such as China, where the collective memory of the cultural revolution is still being suppressed. 'In China´s official history it is a blank unexamined page,' he said.

Ambassador Jeanne D’Arc Byaje gave a personal account of the national process of unification and reconciliation which took place in Rwanda after the genocide of 1994. In order to deal with the murder of up to a million people, the Rwandan authorities had to dismiss the traditional judiciary process and instead apply a transitional justice process based on the village custom of Gacaca. The system has managed to deal with 400,000 people accused of having participated in the genocide. Some were released, some were sentenced to community work, some paid fines and others received prison sentences. The system was closed down last year.

In his speech ECI UN Director, Gregory Lafitte, spoke about the universal values of Yom Kippur, stressing the need to look back at one’s life in order to look forward.
’The Jewish feasts and holidays teach us important lessons’, he said, giving examples such as forgiveness and reconciliation as demonstrated in Yom Kippur and freedom from slavery as seen in Pesach. He went on to remind the audience about how the UN has been shaped by ideas from Jewish thinking, as in the principle of the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have others do to you) or the peace vision of Isaiah Chapter 2, written on the Isaiah Wall, right across the road from the UN Headquarters.

’This Isaiah vision points to a future when swords will be turned in to ploughshares and there will be war no more. This vision has inspired social reformers throughout history as well as the creation of the UN.

’As we listen to one and other and recognise the values of the Golden Rule we strengthen the core purposes and principles of the United Nations’, he concluded.

The breakfast had received an official greeting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who described the values of Yom Kippur as universal. In his letter he thanked ECI for their efforts to help make Yom Kippur a UN holiday.

At the breakfast the Israeli Government was represented by Permanent Representative to the UN Ron Prosor who spoke about the many contributions of the Jewish State to the international community today, from water sanitation to agricultural technology. Malcolm Hoenlein from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations spoke about the religious significance of Yom Kippur for the Jewish community.

ECI Founding Director, Tomas Sandell, quoted Madeleine Albright in saying that ”The world is a mess!”
’In order to achieve peace, we need to foster a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation. By making Yom Kippur a UN holiday we can correct a historical injustice by giving the Jewish people a day of rest, similar to the other monotheistic religions. But the meaning for Yom Kippur is universal, a day to reflect on forgiveness and reconciliation, which are also the core values of the UN Charter,’ he said.

This was the second event organised in the UN Headquarters by the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy which is the ECI initiative for its UN-related work. The vision of FCD is to offer an arena where we can recognise the many contributions of the Jewish people to the international community and build on these principles.



ECI on solidarity mission to Israel

Jerusalem - As members of the European Parliament returned to a new five year term in Brussels in the first week of September, the Board of the European Coalition for Israel travelled to Israel to show solidarity with the people of Israel.

The trip coincided with an open-ended ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas after more than 50 days of military conflict during which over 4,564 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza. In 2005, the Israeli Government evacuated its citizens from the Gaza Strip in order to secure peace on its south western border. Instead of peace, it has received over 11,000 rockets and mortars from Hamas and other Jihadist groups who have sworn to wipe out the Jewish state.

In a solidarity meeting with the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli-Joel Edelstein, the Israeli leader reminded the group about the ramifications of the conflict for European citizens.
‘For each rocket fired into Israel, European citizens should consider the financial ramifications.  How many homes could have been built with the funds that were spent on the thousands of missiles? How many schools and hospitals could have been built if the authorities in Gaza had used their resources for the benefit of the people of Gaza, instead of building terrorist tunnels? One tunnel is estimated to cost around 3 million Euros and the IDF have been able to locate and destroy 30 of them, amounting to a total cost of 90 million Euros. Europe is the single largest financial donor to the Palestinian people and therefore has a special responsibility to ensure that the funds are being used correctly by its leaders.

The Speaker thanked ECI for is unwavering support of the Jewish state in times of crisis and for its many activities around the world on behalf of the Jewish people. He mentioned in particular the ECI initiative to have the UN recognize Yom Kippur as an official UN holiday. 
‘Lack of respect for Jewish holidays prevents Jews from participating fully in the political process, not only at the UN, but also in European institutions’, he said.

The bulk of the meeting however was focused on the troubling rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Mr Edelstein praised the ECI initiative in 2005 introducing Holocaust remembrance into the European Parliament in Brussels, as it reminds the people of Europe about the deadly consequences of not waking up and taking action against Jew hatred in time.

‘The battle in the 1940s did not begin when the Jews were finally put on railway wagons to the concentration camps, but as early as the 1930s, when Jews were being demonised in the media and harassed on the streets of Germany’, he said. ‘For every attack on a Jewish person, people tried to find a legitimate excuse and refused to see it for what it was - ugly anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Now we cannot make the same mistake again’, he said.

Harald Eckert and Tomas Sandell spoke on behalf of the ECI delegation, presenting the many initiatives with which ECI is involved in strengthening support for the Jewish state. They mentioned in particular the upcoming 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Second World War. 
‘This window of time will be of crucial importance in raising awareness of our responsibility to learn from history. It does not stop at the borders of Europe.  The tragic experience of the German people, as well as other Europeans, also needs to be shared with other continents. The Global Prayer Call in connection with the 100 days between January 27th (Liberation of Auschwitz) and May 8th (Victory Day) provides a unique opportunity to recommit to the safety and security of the Jewish people in Israel, as well as in Europe’, they said.

ECI vision shared at the annual conference of Charmes

Charmes - Ardeche - France. Few places in Europe are more synonymous with justice, righteousness and care for the Jewish people than this region of France. This Huguenot-Protestant region has always been a place where Jews were able to find refuge and comfort during the worst moments of their history - one of the most renowned places being the village of Le Chambon sur Lignon. This small town is one of the only two communities in the world which has been officially recognised by Yad Vashem as ”Righteous among the Nations” for its corporate role in hiding thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

 In August, Paris-based ECI Director, Perrine Dufoix, visited the annual conference of the Christian network, L’Union de Priere de Charmes, located in this very region. The village of Charmes is one of those unique places where men and women from all over France, Belgium and Switzerland have been standing and praying faithfully for the Jewish people. The village of Charmes has been particularly impacted by the spiritual and intellectual authority of the theologian Louis Dalliere, founder of this movement in the early 1930s, whose convictions impacted far beyond this region. Perrine Dufoix explained ECI’s mission to engage with political leaders in Europe today in order to raise awareness of the rise of anti-Semitism.

‘What makes 2014 different from 1944 is that there is today a Jewish state, Israel, which was established in order to provide a safe place for Jews to live in. If groups in different nations turn their backs on the Jewish people now, they have their own national home. This also explains why the existence of the Jewish state is so vital’, she said ‘and why we need to engage and challenge our political leaders in regards to their stance on the Jewish state. Jews are currently leaving France in record numbers. Many prefer to leave and make a living in Israel.’

After the meeting many thanked her for making it clear that Christians still have a role to play in standing up for the protection of the Jewish people.  ECI’s mission is to make sure that more Europeans take the Jewish people to their hearts, just as they did there, 70 years ago.

Sharansky predicts ”the beginning of the end of Jewish life in Europe” as EU starts new five year term

Brussels - The head of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, has warned of ”the beginning of the end of Jewish life in Europe” if the current trend of Jew hatred and demonisation does not stop in time. The outspoken former Soviet refusenik has caused quite a stir in Europe where we pride ourselves on our tolerance and diversity.

Sharansky noted that Europe has opened its gates to the immigration of people who are not asked to share its values of freedom and tolerance. At the same time, many Europeans are rushing back to right wing parties who are hostile to minorities.

Sharansky sees the choice as being between assimilation or leaving Europe. Israeli Government Diaspora Minister, Naftali Bennet, warns that ”for every Jew that makes Aliyah as a result of anti-Semitism, there are many others who simply cut their ties with Judaism and the Jewish way of life.”

It still remains to be seen how the new EU leadership will react to these statements. Just last week the composition of the new EU Commission was announced, and now all key positions in the new EU leadership have been filled. 
Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, will become the new President of the European Council and Italian Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, will replace Catherine Ashton as new EU Foreign Policy Chief. The Presidents of the European Parliament, (Martin Schultz) and the European Commission (Jean-Claude Juncker) were confirmed back in June.

Out of the four EU leaders, two are known to be friends of Israel. In his first public appearance as a new President of the European Parliament in 2012, at the ECI co-sponsored Holocaust memorial service, Martin Schulz stated that ”his first and foremost task will be to stand up for the Jews and for the State of Israel.” Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, is considered to be a close friend of Israel, whereas the other two EU- leaders have a more problematic relationship with the Jewish state.

ECI sets priorities for the coming years

Brussels - The next five years will be challenging for ECI and other friends of Israel.  Here are some of the key priorities for ECI in this new season.

Israel´s legal foundation: In July the European Commission banned poultry from the disputed territories in an effort to undermine Jewish claims to Judea and Samaria. The EU believes the responsible Israeli Ministry is not able to guarantee veterinary standards in the chicken farms in the territories. ECI has consistently been reaching out to parliaments and governments to present the legal foundation of the modern state of Israel, which dates back to the San Remo Resolution of 1920. The Mandate for Palestine gives the Jewish people the right to settle in Judea and Samaria regardless of any future peace agreements. 
Lawfare: Since 2010 ECI has engaged actively to defend Israel against an international campaign of lawfare and sanctions, by working closely with international lawyers under the leadership of our Legal Counsel, Andrew Tucker. This will also be one of the key priorities for the coming years. ECI reiterates that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can only be solved through negotiations and not through trade boycotts and international lawfare.

Anti-Semitism: The rise of anti-Semitism was the trigger for the founding of ECI in 2003. If things were bad then, they have now become even worse - with the radicalisation of European politics leading to the rise of the neo-Fascist parties in Europe and radical Islam. Both groups pose a deadly threat to the Jews in Europe. They often join forces with the radical left. In addition to these radical groups, we will also continue to keep an eye on Christian groups who link up with the sworn enemies of Israel to dismiss the Jewish people from a theological standpoint and demonise the State of Israel.

Hate education: EU funding of hate education remains one of the major obstacles to peace by fuelling Palestinian incitement to hatred. Back in 2005, ECI presented a briefing on what the EU should do to reform the EU funding of the Palestinian Authorities. This report later led to a first-ever freeze of EU funding of the PA. We now need to further step up our efforts to make sure that the EU promotes peace in the Middle East and not hatred. This also includes an end to EU funding of anti-Israeli NGOs in Israel as well as in Europe.

Cultural diplomacy: One of the biggest ECI success stories in recent years has been its campaign of soft diplomacy at the UN in New York.  Two years ago the UN Secretary-General responded to an ECI campaign for a ban on Holocaust denial by warning nation states against misusing its rights to address the General Assembly by denying the Holocaust. There has been no Holocaust denial in the chamber of the UN General Assembly since this statement.

During this last year, ECI has embarked on a new campaign of better inclusion of Israel in the UN by introducing the idea of UN recognition of Yom Kippur. This was formally introduced by the Israeli Government at our luncheon at the UN on May 12th. Many nations want to draw nearer to Israel to learn from the Jewish state but need a platform on which to do so. ECI is happy to provide such a platform through its new initiative - the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy.

All these efforts require unprecedented financial and human resources. Thank you for kindly considering a generous donation this month to help us make a good start during this new challenging season.

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.


Annual Policy conference in the European Parliament in Brussels is scheduled for 20-21 November, 2014.

Global Prayer Call 
Two conferences and a prayer campaign organised by Christians for Israel, Ebenezer and ECI:
- GPC-Conference in Krakow, Poland 25-29 January 2015
- GPC-Conference in Jerusalem, 10-12 May 2015  (As agreed in this year's Prayer Summit, next year's Prayer Summit will be in Jerusalem and will be part of the Global Prayer Call conference.)

More information coming soon.

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

Copyright c European Coalition for Israel



This month would normally have been a holiday month for the office of ECI. Instead it has turned out to be a most critical time for the safety and security of the state of Israel. This newsletter is by no means an extensive report from the current Israeli Operation Protective Edge but simply a brief report on some of our activities during this critical time. Please would you consider supporting ECI financially this summer as we stretch ourselves to stand on the side of Israel?

Israel under Fire – Daily updates

Here you will find daily updates on the situation in Israel and Gaza.

European Coalition for Israel updates: 

Israel Under Fire on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IsraelUnderFireLive
Israel under Fire on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/israelunderfire

MFA Channels

ECI open letter gets unexpected backing from EU Foreign Ministers

Brussels - In an open letter to the EU Foreign Ministers, ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels on July 22nd (see press release), ECI has called on the EU leaders to unreservedly condemn Hamas use of human shields in Gaza and the escalation of anti-Semitic violence in Europe. The letter explains in detail how Hamas is violating international law in the current conflict.

In a dramatic statement on 23rd July the Foreign Ministers of the 28 European Union member states agreed with the content of the ECI letter by unanimously expressing support for Israel’s right to defend herself from terror attacks from Gaza and by condemning Hamas for their use of human shields.

The statement has taken the Israeli government by complete surprise as they mostly expect condemnations from Brussels and not messages of support.  In their joint statement the EU leaders strongly condemn ” the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and other militant groups in the Gaza strip, directly harming civilians”, calling them ”criminal and unjustifiable acts.” All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm”, the EU statement concludes.

Israeli experts however fear that EU could soon take a more critical line if the situation escalates further and the number of civilian casualties continues to rise. This has already partly been the case since the July 22 statement.

Although ECI has been highly critical of many aspects of EU-policies towards Israel the recent statement shows that our work has not been in vain. Thank you for supporting us in our ongoing initiatives to have a voice in Brussels and the EU.

Rise of anti-Semitic violence leads to new Jewish Exodus from Europe

Brussels - As the crisis in Gaza deepens another war has broken out in the streets of Europe. This is a ”street war” against Jews which is partly being ignited by the biased media reporting from Gaza. The recent issue of Newsweek magazine features a cover story on ”Why Europe´s Jews are fleeing once again.” The magazine, which has no link to Israel or the Jewish community but has been rather anti-Israel in its coverage, is giving a detailed report on how the situation in Europe is getting out of control. The article starts by reiterating a recent act of street violence in Paris, saying that it could just as well have been from the 1930´s but that was from 2014.

ECI has been warning of the rise of anti-Semitism since its inception in 2003. In recent years our warnings have been confirmed by official reports and surveys, such as the November 2013 survey from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which revealed that a growing number of Jews are considering leaving Europe because of fear for their lives. Prominent Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg is quoted in the article as asking the question ”when might be the right time for the Jews to leave Europe? His answer; ”around now, it seems.”

The statement by Goldberg is being heeded by many, as Jews in record numbers are fleeing Europe.  President of the Representative Council of French Jews (CRIF) Roger Cukierman, expects between 5 - 6.000 Jews to leave France this year, while the number in 2012 was under 2000.  

One of the factors triggering  the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is the radicalisation in the Middle East, where many European immigrants of Arab descent have joined Islamists groups in their attempt to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. European authorities are warning about returning jihadists with the same motive as Mehdi Neemouche, the French citizen who gunned down in cold-blood, four Jews at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on the eve of the European elections in May this year.

Although a large portion of the anti-Semitic violence is coming from radical Muslims ”traditional” anti-Semitism is also growing in popularity as illustrated in the recent electorate success of neo-Nazi parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary.

Our warnings from 2003 are no longer being ignored but are being picked up by prominent magazines like Newsweek and political leaders such as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who recently warned that ”France faces a new form of Anti-Semitism, fomented by the hard left and such political activists as comedian Dieudonne, who blame the Jews for all the ills of the world. ”

In a joint statement on July 22 the Foreign Ministers of France, Italy and Germany said “Anti-Semitic agitation and hostility against Jews have no place in our societies” and added that “nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions in Europe.” ”

It is our collective responsibility to make sure that these clear words are now also backed up by equally clear action.

ECI in strategic meetings at the UN as Israel faces rockets attacks from Gaza

New York - During what is usually a holiday month a small ECI team visited the UN in New York in preparation for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. The mission turned out to be extremely timely as it coincided with the launch of the Israeli Operation Protective Edge in to Gaza. In private meetings with members of the UN ECI expressed its full support for Israel´s right to defend itself (see press release) against the volley of missiles from Hamas.

Although the UN Security Council is the key mediator in any international conflict there are still only Jewish advocacy groups standing up for Israel since the UN has largely been abandoned by Christians. In the last three years ECI has reached out to members of the UN with a positive message about Israel. The ECI initiative to have the UN recognize Yom Kippur as a UN holiday is now backed by some 65 nations. The work at the UN is conducted under the new initiative Global Forum for Cultural Diplomacy.

During the recent visit ECI met with the Ambassador of Uganda, Dr Richard Nduhuura, representing the new Presidency of the 69th UN General Assembly to encourage him to stand with Israel as the country will undoubtedly come under fire at the upcoming opening session of the UN General Assembly in September. The Ambassador expressed his support for the work of the Forum and said that ”as long as they are the chairman there will always be an open door to their office.”

ECI attended Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in honour of Raoul Wallenberg

Washington, D.C - It was a great honour for Gregory Lafitte and Tomas Sandell to have been invited to the Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony in honour of Raoul Wallenberg in the US Congress in the second week of July. Raoul Wallenberg is one of, only a few, non US citizens who have received this highest congressional honour for his efforts to save tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest at the end of WW2. In speeches from congressional leaders, the Swedish Foreign Minister and family members (picture: Nina Lagergren, half-sister of Raoul Wallenberg) they praised him for his courage and example which inspires us still today. In a speech from niece Louise von Dardel she urged the US government to open any remaining archives which can shed light on his disappearance in 1945 and his death.

Quotes from speeches:

- He was called ”Jewish dog” by those who despised him but ”Guardian angel” by those who put their only hope in him.

- The threats that faced Raoul Wallenberg (anti-Semitism) are still with us today.

- He did what he could to save lives and stop the Nazis. What have you done to make sure this never happens again?

Still today, 70 years after his disappearance, his life and legacy is a testimony to all those of us who want to make a difference. As Raoul Wallenberg would say, - ”For me there was no other choice.”

Let’s make a difference!

The message of this Monthly report is sober but clear. We are living in serious times. These are our defining moments. What will we do as the evil of Anti-Semitism is raising its ugly head in Europe again and the Jihadist murderers in the Middle East are growing stronger? What we do now, or fail to do, will determine the direction of our future. Remember, we must fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must fear the most and that is the indifference of good men. Europe has failed the Jewish people too many times. This time around, let us be different. Let´s make a difference.

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.


Annual Policy conference in the European Parliament in Brussels is scheduled for Thursday 20th November, 2014.

International Global Prayer Call conference in Jerusalem, 10-13 May 2015.
(As agreed in this year's Prayer Summit, next year's Prayer Summit will be in Jerusalem and will be part of the Global Prayer Call conference.)

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

Copyright c European Coalition for Israel



In two weeks from now, on 22-25 May, we have European Parliament elections. In this Monthly Report we inform you about the upcoming elections so that you can make best use of your precious vote. Remember to vote. This election is also about the future EU policy towards Israel. Make your vote count. Please check our questionnaire at the end of the report and make sure that your candidate is a supporter of Israel!

New San Remo convocation affirms right to Jewish self-determination

San Remo – Four years after ECI commemorated the 90th anniversary of the San Remo resolution, an international group of delegates returned to San Remo, Italy on April 26th to reaffirm the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. The event was also the launch of the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy, a new ECI initiative to reach out to the UN member states in New York in support of Israel.

The convocation took place at the same hotel where the British delegation stayed during the Peace Conference in April 1920 and where the formal dinners for the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers took place. The British would later become the mandatory power for Palestine. At the conference, the Marquess of Reading, a descendant on both sides of cabinet ministers from that time, acknowledged the failure of the British to carry out the objectives of the Mandate for Palestine. They blocked entrance to Palestine at a critical time when no other nation would receive the Jewish refugees who were fleeing Hitler.

The meeting had the support of the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who sent his personal greetings to the conference through his Foreign Policy Advisor, Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček. In his statement, he explained that ”support for Israel is best expressed by the voting record at the UN and not through official speeches at state dinners.” Czech was one of only eight member states to reject the unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the UN General Assembly in November 2012. Another UN member state that voted against the UN bid was Canada. The Canadian Foreign Minister also sent his personal greetings to the meeting, stating that ”Canadian support for Israel is explained through shared values and shared interests.” Canada has been a consistent supporter of Israel since its independence in 1948.

In a panel, Director General Yossi Kuperwasser from the Ministry for International Relations and Strategic Affairs and Tomas Sandell discussed how the message of San Remo can be better communicated to Israel and the world. The San Remo Resolution was relatively unknown in the public debate until only a few years ago, but it was agreed that it now deserves much more attention.

Sandell stressed that these historical facts need to be taught in Israeli schools. ’Israeli children should be able to learn, not only about the Basel Conference of 1897 or the tragedy of the Shoah, but also about the San Remo Resolution of 1920 which affirmed the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their ancestral homeland in what was then called Palestine.

The Deputy Mayor of San Remo, Claudia Lolli (picture), agreed that San Remo should do more to make the city a tourist attraction for those who want to discover the historical and legal foundations of the Jewish state. The strategy will go down well in San Remo, as another city on the Italian riviera, La Spezia, will soon mark the commemoration of the first sailing of Jewish refugees to Israel after the Second World War.

In a panel of international experts, the many contributions of the Jewish people to mankind were discussed. ’The Jewish people did not only give us technical inventions and Nobel laureates but a completely new way of looking at life’, said Georgina Dufoix. These Jewish values later became Judeo-Christian values and today they are known as universal values, as enshrined in the UN charter. Bruno Roche explained how the Jewish people were entrusted with the financial realities of the Year of the Jubilee. ’The Jewish people understood from their scriptures the meaning of rest for the financial system’, he said.

In a concluding remark Gregory Lafitte (picture) spoke about the role of Israel at the United Nations. He noted that Israel has many friends at the UN who would like to engage with the Jewish state in order to benefit from Israeli know how and innovations in order to solve every day problems. ’The Jewish people understood from their scriptures the meaning of rest for the financial system’, he said.

The meeting issued a San Remo Resolution which affirmed the Jewish right to self-determination as enshrined in international conventions starting on April 26th, 1920 in San Remo, and later confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922 and then finally by the UN in 1947.

The statement will be presented at a diplomatic luncheon at the UN on May 12th on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of Israeli membership of the UN.

The meetings were covered by two media groups, CBN and i24News. Please watch their reports.

Christian voters may determine how Israel-friendly the new European Parliament will be

Brussels – There are now only a few weeks left before the European elections (May 22nd-25th) when you will have the chance to elect your own representative to the European Parliament. It is important to vote. There have never been more openly Fascist parties in Europe after the war than there are today. With the rise of anti-Semitism and political extremism, the new European Parliament could become a very hostile place for Israel and the Jewish people unless we do something about it. We would ask you to do two things; pray and vote.

Thanks to the active participation of Christian voters in the last election, Israel has had many friends in the European Parliament during the last five years. Recently one of the key representatives of the Jewish community explained to me who are the best friends of Israel in Brussels: ’It is the Christians. Without Christian support, the Jewish state could not persevere’, he said.

If he is right, it means that Christians have a major responsibility to safeguard a European Parliament which has many friends of Israel. If we fail to go to the polls, we will have failed the Jewish people and opened up an opportunity for the new anti-Semites. Not voting is letting others decide the future of Europe. That is not acceptable.

- Please make sure that you vote on May 22nd-25th. Encourage your friends, family members and church friends to vote as well.

- Make sure that your candidate is a supporter of Israel. You can ask the candidate directly, using the questionnaire we presented in the last report. (You will find the same questions at the end of this report.)

- Be active during the campaign by raising these questions through e-mails, social media and in personal campaign meetings. By raising the issues, you help put them on the agenda.

- Pray for the elections. Our campaign is called Pray and vote. The elections need prayer, but prayer alone will not solve the situation. We need to pray AND vote.

How can you choose a candidate?

Brussels - In a democracy, it is our right to choose a candidate of our own liking. While you may not always find a candidate that agrees with you on every single issue, it is important that you trust the candidate. While it is ultimately the candidate that will determine how he/she votes, the party groups that they belong to remain very important. It is through the party groups that an individual MEP can have influence in the daily work of the Parliament.

These are the party groups:

European People's Party (Christian Democrats) 
35.77 % of the vote in the last election

This is a centre-right group consisting of German Christian Democrats and other conservative parties in Europe. It has a track record of being relatively friendly to Israel. This does not mean that all members automatically share this view but generally speaking, this is the case.

S&D Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (Social Democrats) 
25.46 % http://pes.eu/

The Social Democrats have, generally speaking, been critical of the policies of the current Israeli Government. This is not to imply that they are anti-Semitic, which is the case for the new extremist parties, but the group as a whole is clearly critical of the Israeli Government. The exceptions are made up from the post-Communist countries (new EU member states) where support for Israel seems to be irrespective of political affiliation.

ALDE Alliance of Liberals and Democrats 
10.96 % http://www.aldeparty.eu/en

The Liberal group is a mixed group where you will find some of the strongest supporters of Israel as well as many of their fiercest critics. Check with your candidate beforehand where he/she stands on issues important to Israel.

Greens EFA Group The Greens / European Free Alliance
7.57 % http://campaign.europeangreens.eu/

The Green group has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel.

ECR European Conservatives and Reformists
5.57 % http://www.aecr.eu/

This group, consisting of among others, the British Tories, is perhaps one of the most Israel-friendly groups in the Parliament. It is a group which is critical of more EU integration.

GUE/NGL European United Left/Nordic Green Left 
4.57 % http://european-left.org/

The extreme left has been one of the fiercest critics of Israel. Although the left has, generally speaking, been very anti-Israel, it should not be equated with the open anti-Semitism that you will find in some of the new populist parties.

EFD European Freedom and Democracy group 
4.05 % http://www.efdgroup.eu/

This group is a mixed group which is united by its opposition to more EU integration and support for national sovereignty. Though some of the parties are critical of immigration, most of them are friends of Israel. The leader of the European Parliament delegation to the Knesset, Bas Belder from Netherlands, belongs to this group.

Non-attached members
4.18 %

On the extreme right, you will find most of the so called non-attached members, some are open neo-fascist parties like the British National Party in the UK, Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary. Many are also concerned about the rise of the National Front in France. It is still unclear how these parties will organise themselves in the new European Parliament.

You can read more about these other groups on http://www.elections2014.eu/en


ECI is not a political organisation. We are not linked to any particular political party or movement, but we want to work together with all those who support Israel. This does not mean that we agree with all their other policies. In presenting the political groupings in the European Parliament, we have focussed solely on their attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people.

Appendix: Questionnaire to candidates for the European Parliament

1. Should male circumcision and kosher slaughter be allowed or banned in Europe?

2. Is the EU doing enough to ensure that Iran does not get a nuclear bomb?

3. What is your position on the recent EU guidelines (December 2013) which prohibit EU funding of Israeli entities active in the disputed territories?

4. Should Jerusalem be divided under a final peace agreement or remain the united capital of Israel?

5. Should EU aid to the PA be made conditional on economic performance and human rights record or should it continue as in the past?

Editor Tomas