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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