Time to let Israel teach us how to protect our citizens

Brussels  - March 22, 2016 will go down in history as a watershed moment for the EU capital in understanding what it means to live under the daily threat of terror. This was the day when 32 innocent people lost their lives and three hundred more were injured in what has been described as the largest terrorist attack in Brussels since the Second World War. Many more lives have been shattered as the EU capital has lost its sense of security.

When terror strikes at the heart of Europe we easily forget that this has been the daily reality for Jewish people living in Israel since the first day of the founding of their own state in 1948. The enemies of Israel are also sworn enemies of our own pluralistic and open societies in the West. Now it is time to stand together as one against the evil forces of radical Islam and extremism that try to attack the very foundation of what we hold dear.

In this dark hour of terror and fear, Israel has once again come to our assistance. Only a few weeks before the terror attack, Israeli intelligence experts had warned the Belgian airport authorities about the lack of safety procedures at the Zaventem airport. It may not be long before all European airports will have to follow the same safety procedures as at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv where everyone has to enter a security check before entering the airport area.

Europe can learn from Israel. Our upcoming conference ”Renewing European ? Israeli Partnership ” on Thursday 21 April could not be more timely. For more details, please contact us at info@ec4i.org. Registration to be done by 8th April.

American Friends of ECI formalised in Washington DC

Washington DC - As anti-Semitism raises its ugly head in Europe and Iran continues to threaten Israel with annihilation, it is important that we stand together across the Atlantic in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

Brussels is today ground zero in this battle against Jew hatred. And since its inception in 2003, ECI has stood faithfully by the side of the Jewish people and the state of Israel at the European institutions in Brussels.

In order to strengthen the cooperation between friends of Israel in the US and in Europe, ECI has launched a new initiative, the American Friends of ECI, in order to offer our American friends an opportunity to have an impact in Europe by standing together with ECI in this battle against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred.

The new organisation was formalised in a meeting in Washington DC on Friday 18th March and will officially be launched to the wider public this summer.

Today Christian organisations help Israel in many different ways. Our calling is to raise a voice of support for Israel worldwide with Brussels as our main focus point, along with our extensive work at the United Nations headquarters in New York also.

We welcome the support and partnerships of American churches, organisations and individuals. Please contact Faith Collins Childress for more information by email atfaith.collins@ec4i.org

ECI meets new partners at annual AIPAC conference

Washington DC - A small ECI team has for the first time attended the annual AIPAC (The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference in Washington DC, where up to 18,000 activists came together to hear speakers and experts share their insights on how we can better defend the state of Israel. The flawed nuclear deal with Iran and the growing BDS movement were two of the major issues covered during the conference, which also featured all major US Presidential candidates.

Many in the international pro-Israel community are concerned about the situation in Europe and are looking at ways to become involved. As the threats to European Jewry and the state of Israel become more urgent, it is important that Christian and Jewish pro-Israel organisations come together to find ways to stand united. By attending the AIPAC conference, ECI staff were able to meet with new friends and partners from around the world, presenting new opportunities to expand our work further.

Picture, from left to right: Tomas Sandell, Faith Collins Childress, MEP Lars Adaktusson

Apostolic leaders in Europe stand up for Israel

Oslo - In an effort to reach out to European church leaders with the message of Israel, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell was one of the keynote speakers at the 3rd Annual Apostolic Summit in Oslo on the 29th of March 2016.  The convenor of this pan-European network of church leaders, Jan-Aage Torp, has made a clear commitment to stand with Israel at a time when many church leaders have chosen either to remain silent or have turned their back against Israel.

ECI’s message was well received as the leaders affirmed the need to stand with Israel and the Jewish people in a tangible way whilst the future of European Jewry is in question and the state of Israel is being demonised in the international arena.

“The question is not what we would have done in the 1930s when the Jews were being hunted down, but rather what will we do today to prevent history from repeating itself,” Sandell told the conference delegates.

Many leaders responded to the message and expressed their interest in getting involved and finding out more about ECI.

A ministry leader of Iranian descent publically asked for forgiveness for the deadly threats that his government is posing against Israel.
“Iranian people love Israel”, he said. “My nation is the nation of Daniel, Esther and Mordechai. Israel and Persia (Iran) belong together”.  He went on to remind the audience of the fact that it was the European nations that supported Khomeini and the Iranian revolution in 1979, which started the process that has led to today’s radicalisation and Islamic terrorism.

The conference proved the importance of Christian leaders standing together in the public sphere to take responsibility for the future of our continent and our world. The delegates were in agreement that Europe can only receive blessing if we choose to stand with Israel.

Norway - former enemy turns friend of Israel

Oslo - Norway is a small country in the north of Europe which is considered a humanitarian superpower. Oslo is not only the centre of great oil wealth but also the seat of the Nobel Peace Prize. The first Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie, was a Norwegian and the list of similar achievements goes on.

But Norway has also been one of the worst enemies of Israel for many years. This changed in October 2013, when a new conservative government was elected.  It was formed by the Conservative Party and the Progress Party whose current party leaders are self-proclaimed friends of Israel. In May 2014, then Israeli President Shimon Peres was invited to Oslo and was received by the King of Norway who officially asked for forgiveness for the past Norwegian animosity towards Israel and the Jewish people. Many consider his speech to have been a tipping point which signalled a new and warm season in Israeli and Norwegian relations.

But the change started even earlier when Christians in Norway woke up to their responsibility towards the state of Israel. In December 2013, a large delegation of Christian leaders visited the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem to publicly ask for forgiveness for the Oslo Accord which sets out a blueprint for dividing up the land of Israel. The visit was criticised by some Christians in Norway, but was well received by the Israeli Knesset and public.

This grassroots movement among Christian leaders paved the way for the new season in Norway-Israeli relations.

There are many silent heroes among the Christians in Norway who are standing up for Israel in the public sphere and in their local churches. One pastor shared the following story. “The church where I am pastoring had gone from once being the largest in the nation to almost closing down. That was when I was called to take it over. The first thing that I did was to place an Israeli flag on the platform together with the Norwegian flag. Today we are again growing and may soon have to find a new building as we have outgrown our old premises. It was always part of our theology to bless Israel but somewhere along the way it was lost and then the numbers started declining. When we bless Israel we are blessed.”

ECI wants to be a ministry that unifies churches and Christians in Europe and around the world who want to bless Israel. We do this by supporting people on a governmental level and at international institutions to speak on behalf of Israel.

Please contact us today if you want to partner with ECI in prayer or financial assistance. Together we can make a difference.