The Czech Republic's Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus held its inaugural meeting with Knesset member Michal Cotler-Wunsh on Thursday, which included representatives from four different Czech political parties who share pro-Israel sentiment.
MP Miloslav Janulik, Chairman of the Czech Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus, noted his goal of strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Czech Republic, in addition to encouraging cooperation with other European Israel Allies Caucuses to strengthen relations.
“We are very glad that we can contribute to the cooperation with the Knesset in this very important field of faith-based diplomacy," Janulik said.
I believe that we will enhance this cooperation through concrete steps that we are preparing to take in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, including proposing a resolution addressing the unbalanced accusations that the UN and UNHRC apply towards Israel and highlighting the importance of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the Chamber of Deputies on the occasion of Jerusalem Day,” the Chairman added.
Director of the caucus Karel Sedlacek also highlighted the recent move to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Czech Parliament, while also enlisting the Slovakian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus to join the initiative.
“We greatly appreciate that we are joining a group of similarly focused lawmakers throughout European parliaments and beyond. We are convinced that coordinated international support of Israel is very important especially now,” Sedlacek said.
During the meeting, Cotler-Wunsh spoke in appreciation of the long history of Czech support for Israel, as well as its role in combating the double standard Israel faces.
“We must work together to address double standards seen in the international arena and in the online space. When just one people, one country, or one religion is singled out, it undermines the entire system of the rule of law and rights, and enables a culture of impunity. Only by working together, including through inter-parliamentary forums as we did today, can we combat hatred and ensure the human rights of all are upheld” she added.
Israel and the Czech Republic share a special relationship. Thomas Masaryk, the founder of an independent Czechoslovakia, was the a long-time supporter of Zionism and had close relations with Jews. During the War of Independence in 1948, Czechoslovakia was one of the only countries to supply Israel with armaments.