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

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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