Counterpoint: Middle East News Round-Up
The Jewish state celebrated its 72nd birthday this week. AJC CEO David Harris writes in this powerful essay about the history and meaning of Israel’s miraculous journey. The establishment of the state in 1948 was the fulfillment of its envisioned role as home and safe haven for Jews from around the world. Forced to fight wars and terrorism from day one, Israel’s wholehearted embrace of democracy, its impressive scientific, cultural, and economic achievements are all the more remarkable.
Brussels, 27 April 2020
The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group calls for stronger EU-Israel and transatlantic cooperation on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the world fights a deadly disease that knows no borders, it’s incumbent upon the family of Western...
Foreign policy pundits were quick to declare U.S. President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan dead on arrival. Whatever its shortcomings, the roadmap shines a much-needed light on the self-perpetuating Palestinian refugee problem embodied in UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Writing in New Europe, AJC Transatlantic Institute Deputy Director Michael Sieveking argues that Europe can play an important role in reforming the troubled body.
Israel’s discovery of vast gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean is a potential game-changer for EU energy security. A seven billion Euro pipeline connecting the Jewish state with Europe could diversify the continent’s energy supplies. But not so fast - Turkey and Russia could still torpedo the project. To discuss how Brussels can advance the pipeline, Counterpoint host Michael Sieveking is joined by Cypriot Member of the European Parliament Costas Mavrides and Israeli energy consultant Gina Cohen.
The Jerusalem Post reported that two leading lawmakers from the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) - the cross-party caucus promoting EU-Israel-U.S. ties - called for EU sanctions against the Iranian regime. Austrian MEP and TFI Chair Lukas Mandl said the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 on board crossed a “red line.” One of TFI’s Vice Chairs, Petras Auštrevičius of Lithuania, demanded Tehran be held accountable “for its terrorist activities that threaten also Europe and our key regional ally, Israel.”
In 2009, the EU decided to condition any upgrade in its ties with Israel on progress in the peace process with the Palestinians and hasn't held an Association Council with the Jewish state since 2012. While peace still remains elusive, the mutually beneficial relationship has taken a hit. To discuss how the EU can become a Middle East ‘player’ - and not just a ‘payer’ - host Daniel Schwammenthal is joined by Greek MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou and AJC CEO David Harris.
Remarks by H.E. Georgios Lakkotrypis, Minister for Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus
Hosted by the AJC Transatlantic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, H.E. Georgios Lakkotrypis, Minister for Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus, spoke to a select audience of Ambassadors, EU diplomats, and journalists. Below is the transcript of his remarks: ...
When Iran’s proxy Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets on Israel, Jerusalem’s measured response helped prevent the conflict spin out of control. To discuss how EU diplomacy can help prevent a future Middle East war with mass civilian casualties, host Michael Sieveking is joined by MEP Lukas Mandl, who had just returned from a visit to the region, and Brigadier General (Res.) Assaf Orion, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel.
Brussels - 12 November 2019 - The AJC Transatlantic Institute regrets today’s EU Court of Justice decision mandating the labeling of Israeli foodstuffs produced beyond the Green Line. The ruling will likely be instrumentalized by those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish state, which is why it...
Members of the European Parliament Visit Israel with AJC, Call for Association Council and EU Ban of Hezbollah
Jerusalem, 31 October 2019 - A leadership delegation of Members of the European Parliament associated with the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), the inter-parliamentary...