ATTENDING AN Israel Allies Foundation press conference at the Rami Levy supermarket in Sha’ar Binyamin last month, announcing a campaign against the labeling of products from Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, are, from left, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus director Josh Reinstein.
(photo credit: ISRAEL ALLIES FOUNDATION)
Members of parliament from Europe began meeting in Berlin Saturday to plan strategy for fighting the pending publication of guidelines to enable EU member states to place consumer labels on exports from east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
The 24 lawmakers attending the three-day Israel Allies Foundation annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference came from Estonia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Romania, France, Slovakia, Macedonia and Germany.
They were joined by Congressional Israel Allies Caucus Chairman Eliot Engel and MKs Yair Lapid, Yoel Hasson, Merav Ben Ari and Sharren Haskel.
“At a time when Israel is under attack at home and increasingly isolated abroad, this is an opportunity to thank our friends and rally them to our cause,” Lapid said. “This conference sends a strong message that there are those who will not tolerate the delegitimization of Israel, who will fight back against the campaign to boycott Israel and who will stand with us as we work to guarantee a Jewish, democratic and secure Israel which will continue to respect freedom of religion for all.”
The conference will mark the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht, 70 years since the end of World War II, and 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.
Several meetings during the conference will take place the Bundestag. Topics to be covered include German-Israeli relations, anti-Semitism in Europe, the Iranian nuclear threat, EU funding of Palestinian Authority “state” incitement, anti-Zionism of refugees in Europe and how the lessons from the Holocaust will be taught to those settling in Germany. The conference will pave the way for the next German Israel Congress in 2016, the Federal Republic’s largest gathering of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations.
“The Israel Allies European Summit in Berlin is going to be a very decisive conference in the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Europe,” said Andras Patkai, the Israel Allies Foundation European director. “We have deliberately chosen the timing on the eve of the anniversaries of Kristallnacht and the fall of the Berlin Wall. We strongly believe that dividing cities does not bring peace. The participating parliamentarians will make strong statements regarding a nuclear Iran, labeling of Jewish products from Judea and Samaria, and unchecked anti-Zionism among the migrant communities streaming into Europe.”
The Israel Allies Foundation is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of 33 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world to mobilize political support for Israel based on shared Judeo-Christian values. The network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus.
“The summit is a great opportunity to discuss the security, political and geostrategic issues facing Israel and the Jewish Diaspora today, and to consider solutions to promote peace and prosperity despite the present geopolitical and security climate,” Engel said.
Lapid told members of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday to oppose the EU labeling of products. He said that anyone who believes the move will contribute to a diplomatic process is mistaken and that the decision to label goods creates the exact opposite effect and moves the prospects of negotiations for a two-state solution further away.
“The decision to label Israeli goods is a boycott in every sense of the word and it cannot be defined as something else,” Lapid told them. “Whoever is pushing this because they believe it will help the two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is wrong, this move only causes harm.”
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