In Brussels, friends of Israel to mark J'lem Day

Jewish group to hold event commemorating Israel’s establishment of control over eastern part of J'lem in 1967.

Jerusalem Day celebrations 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Jerusalem Day celebrations 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A Jewish group on Wednesday will hold an event at the European parliament commemorating Israel’s establishment of control over the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967, a week after the national holiday was held in Israel.
The European Jewish Community Center (EJCC), which is organizing the event, said the gathering will be attended by Minister-without- Portfolio Yossi Peled, Vice President of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca and dozens of other pro-Israel politicians.
“We throw an event like this every year,” said Avi Tawil, the director of the organization. “It’s an opportunity to give Israel’s friends a stage to show their support for the country.”
Few countries in the world recognize either east or west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming the status of the city should be determined in talks with Palestinians and the international community. However, Tawil said some European politicians supported changing the current status quo.
“There are many who recognize the status of Jerusalem as the capital, like Finland’s Hannu Takula and Spain’s Eva Ortiz Vilella,” he said over the phone from Belgium.
Tawil said there had not been serious attempts to disrupt the annual event in previous years. He said the ceremony will consist of speeches by politicians, the unveiling of a photo exhibit and musicians singing songs like “Jerusalem of Gold.”
He said bolstering support for Israel in Europe was just as important as lobbying efforts in the US.