Parliamentarians from Latin America and Europe have sent letters to President Reuven Rivlin congratulating the Jewish people and the State of Israel on Jerusalem Day.
“On Jerusalem Day, we will celebrate not only the determination of the Jewish people to live in the eternal capital of Israel, but also the shared Judeo-Christian values that have sealed the historical relations between Latin America and Israel since November 1947, when 13 of the then 20 Latin American countries voted in favor of the creation of the State of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly,” reads a letter signed by a minister from Uruguay, a senator from Columbia and legislators from Guatemala, Argentina and Suriname.
Similarly, a letter signed by officials from the EU and 12 European parliaments remembered how “13 of the 17 European countries voted in favor of the creation of the State of Israel.”
All of the signers are members or heads of the Israel Allies Caucuses of different Parliaments in Europe, including from Sweden, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Wales, Slovakia, Finland, Netherlands, Estonia, Croatia and Lithuania. The non-profit Israel Allies Foundation creates caucuses to encourage cooperation among faith-based supporters of Israel in parliaments and legislatures worldwide.
The letters come at a time when the world is debating Israel's right to territory won during the 1967 Six Day War, which includes parts of Jerusalem. The European Union, specifically, has threatened and condemned Israel over the possibility that it may annex settlements in the coming months, as per US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.
Jerusalem Day is being celebrated from sundown on May 21 to sundown on May 22 this year. Latin American support for Israel has been on the rise for the past decade, as the Evangelical Christian community grows in those countries. David Parsons, vice president of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, told The Jerusalem Post last year that according to surveys, around 20% of Latin Americans are now Evangelicals, rising to close to 30% in Brazil and more than 40% in much of Central America.
“During these times of closed borders and social distancing, it is especially heart-warming to hear from the leadership of our caucuses around the world regarding their love and support for our united capital Jerusalem,” said Israel Allies Foundation CEO Josh Reinstein, who helped organize the letters. “Notwithstanding the physical distance between us, we will still work as one to strengthen support for Israel through faith-based diplomacy, so that next Jerusalem Day many of their embassies will be in Jerusalem.”