Thank you!

As we start a new year we would like to thank all of our supporters and friends for your prayer and financial support in 2014. Thanks to your generous and sacrificial giving we were able to close the year with a small plus!

Grand synagogue in Paris closed for the first time since World War II

Paris - In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, the Grand Synagogue of Paris was closed for Shabbat prayer for the first time since World War II. ECI continues to follow the critical developments in France through our European director Perrine Dufoix who is based in Paris. Please read our press release about the terrorist attacks.

Dramatic close to 2014 indicates challenging year ahead of us

New York - ECI staff and activists were not given much holiday rest as some of us continued throughout the Christmas season to monitor the escalating diplomatic war against Israel, which culminated in a vote in the UN Security Council on December 29th.

The vote for Palestinian statehood was one last desperate attempt in 2014 to have the UN Security Council accept a completely one-sided Jordanian resolution which called for full withdrawal of Israel from the disputed territories within two years and the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as (a shared) capital. In a surprising chain of events, one country - Nigeria - changed its mind at the last minute and as a result the resolution was rejected ? for now.

Whereas France and Luxembourg voted for the resolution (together with China, Russia, Jordan, Chad, Argentina and Chile), USA and Australia voted against and UK, Rwanda, Lithuania, South Korea and Nigeria abstained, leaving the resolution one vote short of adoption.

In the days leading up to the vote, ECI sent each member of the UN Security Council our position paper which clearly argued against adopting the resolution. We have also been in personal contact with a number of key members of the Security Council, arguing for a negotiated solution to the conflict instead of a unilateral resolution.

In a separate email message before Christmas, we also commented on the European Parliament vote which called for the creation of a Palestinian state but with no time-frame and with clear conditions for accepting statehood.

Inasmuch as the last weeks of 2014 have been demanding on us, it has also been a most rewarding time, realising that our efforts have not been in vain.

This strategic work has been made possible thanks to your generous support.

For more information on how you can support the work of ECI in 2015, please visit the ECI website.

ECI director received as "international guest of honour" at presidential Hanukkah reception in Albania

Tirana - ECI director for UN Affairs, Gregory Lafitte, was received by the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, as a "guest of honour" at his annual Hanukkah reception in the presidential palace in Tirana on December 20th.  Lafitte also had a private meeting with the president where they discussed the importance of cultural diplomacy.  Whereas today Albania is a predominantly Muslim country and with a long atheistic past, its leadership has been supportive of Israel at the UN.

ECI first met with President Nishani during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, when he expressed his interest and support for the work of ECI and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy.  A couple of months later, ECI received an official invitation to attend the Hanukkah reception in the presidential palace.

In his speech, the president emphasised the symbolic meaning of Hanukkah as the quest for freedom of religion and culture. The message has a universal appeal and resonates particularly well in Tirana as the Albanians had not been free for decades - either to speak in their own language or enjoy their own culture.

Albania is one of several countries which in recent years has chosen to highlight Hanukkah as an expression of support and friendship with Israel and the Jewish people.

First UN step towards recognition of Yom Kippur

New York - The Jewish holidays have deep and significant meanings for mankind.  For this reason, ECI - through its UN initiative Forum for Cultural Diplomacy - has been campaigning for UN recognition of Yom Kippur, because of its universal message of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Although this initiative has the support of some 60 nations (including the EU) it is opposed by the Arab Group - G77 - the Organisation of Islamic States and the Non-Aligned Movement.

In the last meeting of the year, the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly finally came to an agreement to recognise the significance of Yom Kippur and to avoid holding meetings on that day.

This is the first step in the direction of full recognition as a UN official holiday. The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy will continue to work for full recognition of Yom Kippur as a UN holiday in 2015.

Krakow conference to mark 70th Anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz

Krakow - For over ten years, European Coalition for Israel has marked  January 27th as a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and learn from some of the darkest chapters of European history - the systematic killings of 6 million Jews.

At no other time has this commemoration been more important than this year, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.

ECI is involved, as one of three organisations, in a global campaign to raise awareness among Christians about our responsibility to stand beside the Jewish people and the State of Israel at this critical time. On January 27th ECI will host a special Concert of Commemoration in the synagogue of Krakow together with the local Jewish community. The conference will mark the beginning of a period of 100 days of prayer and fasting, concluding with a conference in Jerusalem on May 10th, which will mark the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II. Please email info@ec4i.org for more information.

Commemorate Holocaust Sunday on January 25th with moving testimonies of Holocaust survivors

Brussels - Once again this year, ECI is teaming up with New Zealand artist and photographer Perry Trotter and his online exhibition "Shadows of the Shoah" to make available short video testimonies of Holocaust survivors. If you are a pastor, please consider showing one of these videos in your Sunday service on January 25th.

Some churches have used this opportunity to make an annual donation to ECI to help us educate people about the Holocaust, but more importantly to make sure it never happens again.

Thank you for your partnership and support!


March of Life in Poland on January 17th-18th, from Gliwice to Oswieicim. More information: http://www.marchoflife.org/v2/footer/polen/

ECI Educational Tour in Israel: May 10th- 17th, 2015
A unique opportunity to better understand the geo-political issues facing Israel today. The tour includes participation at the Global Prayer Call, a strategic and prophetic prayer conference in Jerusalem, focusing on the issue of the nations and Israel (May 10th?12th).
More information and a detailed programme will be communicated in the coming days and will be available on the ECI website.