The past month has seen a dramatic geo-political shift with the installation of a new US President in the White House and a radical change in the current world order. Last month also marked a serious diplomatic onslaught against Israel before the change of power in the White House - but the Jewish state survived!
As an organisation we strive to avoid any involvement in party politics and to not take sides but rather try to make the best out of every situation. Over the last 15 years we have worked with a wide range of governments in Israel, Europe and the United Nations and will remain committed to these principles also in the future.


Israel survives diplomatic onslaught in Paris

Paris – Israel has survived a final diplomatic onslaught from the outgoingObama administration after the US Government refused to use its veto power at the UN Security Council on December 23rd, one day before Christmas Eve, thus causing serious damage to Israel in the international arena.
With less than one month to go after the disastrous United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334, the international community, led by the outgoing US Administration, France and Sweden, planned a final attempt to launch a new UNSC resolution to determine the parameters for a two state solution just days before the new US Administration was to be sworn in on January 20th. If the resolution had been passed it would have brought a unilateral declaration of an Islamic Palestinian state one step closer with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In order to mobilize international support for this plan, the government of France announced a Peace Conference in Paris on Sunday, January 15th, followed by a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday January 16th which was then to culminate in a UNSC resolution on Tuesday January 17th, three days before the change of guard in the White House.
That was the plan. But thanks to a major mobilization of friends of Israel from around the world these plans failed and Israel survived the plot. In a few brief paragraphs we want to give an account of what happened and how you, as an ECI activist, made a difference.


From defeat to victory in 30 days – this is what happened

Brussels – The passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23rd marked a serious blow to the State of Israel as its government struggled to stand against the growing international pressure to bow down to the demands of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state without negotiations. For ECI the resolution meant that the Christmas holiday would be filled with work and preparations for the critical time window of less than 30 days before the swearing in of a new US Administration on January 20th which had promised to stand by Israel.

On January 3rd ECI sent out a prayer request to our prayer network which was quickly picked up by renowned international Christian prayer ministries and spread around the world. This way we could help inform the worldwide body of believers about the Paris Peace Conference and the concrete threats which Israel was facing. Through several video reports on Facebook we were able to keep all those interested fully updated on the developments.


ECI “on the prayer barricades” in Paris, Brussels and Stockholm

Paris/Brussels - The role of ECI during these critical 30 days was to inform and mobilize friends of Israel throughout the world as well as to reach out to the participants of the Paris Peace Conference. With the help of our legal counsel Andrew Tucker, ECI compiledan open letter which was sent to all 15 members of the UN Security Council and the EU ambassadors of the 28 EU member states.

As information about the conference in Paris was scarce, the information which ECI was able to provide was well received. In locations as far away as the Pacific Islands, the Baltic States, Africa and Latin America, senior pastors were calling their congregants to fast and pray based on the updates from ECI.

ECI also managed to have teams on site in Paris and Stockholm on the days of the important meetings. Led byGregory Lafitte and Ruth Isaac, many travelled to Paris to show their support for Israel on Sunday, January 15th, while both Tomas Sandell as the keynote speaker and Tor G Gull had been invited to a solidarity meeting in the national parliament in Stockholm on Tuesday, January 17th. This was the same day as the Security Council met in New York, chaired by the Swedish Government. By its presence in these key locations, ECI demonstrated that Israel is not alone.

The Paris Peace Conference failed in its objective as the British and the Australian Governments refused to sign the final declaration. One BBC reporter described the mood as “full chaos” as the participants scrambled to save the conference. One day later, the British Government again blocked a resolution by EU foreign ministers to support the conclusion of the Paris conference and this action was backed up by several countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Instead of galvanizing support for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, the summit conference revealed a deep divide in the international community as a new coalition of nations which supported Israel emerged. As a consequence, no UNSC resolution was passed on Tuesday, January 17th, as the instigators of the plot had to acknowledge that it was “game over” for now.

Thank you to all those who participated in this campaign and helped in one way or another. The events of last month clearly illustrate the power of prayer, education and advocacy as we keep ourselves informed and act with a united approach.

We did emphasize the need to pray until a new president is installed in the White House, but this does not mean that the battle ends here. On the contrary, the battle may even intensify in the coming years but the dynamic will change. Our prayer strategy does not imply a political endorsement of the new US President, but it is an encouragement to continue to follow the godly instruction in 1 Timothy 2:1-4  and to pray for those in authority.


Meanwhile in Brussels, New York and Riga

European Parliament appoints a friend of Israel as its new President

Brussels – The European Parliament has appointed Italian MEP, Antonio Tajani as the new President of the European Parliament. Tajani is a long standing friend of Israel and a defender of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. ECI has met with Tajani on several occasions, most recently one week before the election to express our support. Last year he gladly accepted our “wear-a-kippah” challenge to express solidarity for the Jewish communities in Europe amidst growing anti-Semitism. His term is for 2½ years.


ECI attends Holocaust memorial events at the EU and UN

Brussels/New York – ECI has attended the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day events in Brussels and New York which were hosted this year by the newly appointed EP President Antonio Tajani and the new UN Secretary-General António Guterres respectively. In Brussels Tomas Sandell and Ruth Isaac were present when Tajani spoke about the need to strengthen Judeo-Christian values in order to fight anti-Semitism. In New York Gregory Lafitte and Rudolf Geigy were in the audience when Guterres spoke about the loss to communities which exclude Jews. He mentioned his native Portugal which experienced an economic downward spiral following the expulsion of the Jews to the Netherlands in the 1500’s while the new host country prospered. In Helsinki, ECI Chairman Tor G Gull spoke at an inter-faith Holocaust memorial event in the Andreas Church together with the leader of the local Jewish community Ariel Nadbornik.


ECI co-hosted a new conference in the European Parliament in Brussels

Brussels – ECI has helped to co-organize a new conference to fight BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).The conference, hosted by EIPA (Europe Israel Public Affairs) and MEP Lars Adaktusson, brought together Jewish activists from many European nations and, with the help of the ECI Brussels Representative Ruth Isaac, Christians activists were also mobilized. Parallel to this conference, proponents of the BDS movement organized their own seminar in the European Parliament. While the ECI seminar was promoting cooperation and co-existence, the BDS seminar was inciting the continuation of boycott activity. The ECI conference was open for speakers from both sides of the argument, but no critical voices or journalists were welcome at the BDS conference.


ECI speaks at Aglow Convention and a church service in Riga

Riga - ECI consists of individuals, churches and movements that wish to stand with Israel through prayer, education and advocacy. One such movement is the women´s ministry Aglow, which mobilizes millions of women all over the world for spiritual renewal and prayer for Israel. During the last weekend of January, Tomas Sandell was invited to speak at their annual European Convention which was held in Riga, Latvia. Vice-Chairman Bedros Nassanian with his wife Rebekah contributed as well. The Aglow leaders reaffirmed their commitment to stand with Israel and ECI.

On Sunday Tomas was invited to speak at the New Generation Church in Riga. For many weeks the church had been praying fervently for the Paris Peace Conference and was pleased to hear a first-hand report on how the plot had been thwarted. The New Generation Church is one of many churches who are keen to strengthen their partnership with ECI and the church leadership is planning to attend the next ECI Policy Conference in Brussels.


Upcoming events

30th March 2017 – ECI Annual Policy Conference in the European Parliament, followed by an ECI Briefing Seminar on 31st March.

31st March – 2nd April 2017 – ECI European Prayer Summit in Brussels.

Please click here for more information.

Please note that space is limited, so we ask you to contact us for registration as soon as possible.