Highlights from Sebastian Kurz's Keynote Speech on EU-Israel Relations and Jewish Life in Europe
China’s devastating and systematic human rights violations have led to the detainment of up to three million Uyghurs in “reeducation camps.” AJC hosted Uyghur-American Nury Turkel, Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and Chairman of the Board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, for a timely discussion about the latest worrying developments in China and the international community’s moral imperative to stand up for the persecuted Muslim minority.
The U.S. and Israel share democratic values, strategic interests, and a historic, multi-dimensional partnership that has long enjoyed bipartisan endorsement. At last week’s Republican National Convention AJC joined Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Policy Center Matt Brooks, Director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council Kirsten Fontenrose, Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona, and Representative Lee Zeldin for a conversation on the state of U.S.-Israel relations and the challenges and aspirations for the next four years.
The UN arms embargo on Iran is set to expire this October. What are the options to build an effective strategy to address the Iranian regime’s ongoing conventional and non-conventional threat? AJC hosted Ellie Cohanim, U.S. Assistant to the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, and Matthew McInnis, Deputy Director, Iran Action Group at the US Department of State, for a discussion on the Republican perspective on how to counter Tehran’s regional aggression and ballistic missile development – areas unaddressed in the 2015 nuclear deal.
Can we continue to rely on the U.S. bipartisan agreement on the benefits and necessity of the alliance with Israel? At this year’s Democratic National Convention AJC discussed with Representative Ted Deutch, Executive Director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Sofer, and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace Robert Wexler how America’s critical ties with the Jewish state will evolve.
After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran continues to advance its nuclear program under reimposed American sanctions. AJC held an in-depth conversation at the Democratic National Convention with Congressman Steve Israel (2001-2017) and the Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S., H.E. Shaikh Abdulla Al-Khalifa, on the future of the JCPOA, Iran’s regional aggression and challenges for the next four years.
On the twin anniversary eve of Hezbollah's bomb attacks in Argentina (1994) and Bulgaria (2012), the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) called on the EU to finally ban the terror group. The declaration was covered by global media outlets including POLITICO Europe, The Hill, Die Welt, Gazeta Wyborcza and The Jerusalem Post. At the virtual launch event, TFI Chair MEP Lukas Mandl, TFI Vice Chair MEP Dietmar Köster, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal, and the Washington Institute’s Hezbollah expert Matthew Levitt discussed the initiative’s impact. AJC CEO David Harris delivered concluding remarks.
In conversation with AJC CEO David Harris, European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi outlined the EU’s policy priorities in relation to the countries and regions at Europe’s borders. Commissioner Várhelyi stressed the need to deepen ties with Israel by holding a long-overdue Association Council, to get to the bottom of allegations of EU funding reaching terrorists, and to work closely with the Jewish state on battling the virus.
In the span of just one week, the European Parliament condemned Palestinian incitement in EU-funded school textbooks and leading MEPs wrote to the EU’s foreign policy chief about allegations that European taxpayer money is reaching NGOs with terror links. Joining Counterpoint host Daniel Schwammenthal to unpack these questions are Olga Deutsch, Vice President of NGO-Monitor, and German MEP Niclas Herbst, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee.
H.E. Dina Kawar, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the U.S., joins AJC’s Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacon for a discussion about how Amman is dealing with the burden of hosting a refugee population of some 1.4 million people amid a scarcity of natural resources. The ambassador also shared her views on Middle East stability and the regional impact of Covid-19.
Watch decorated war veteran Congressman Brian Mast tell AJC why, after 12 years in the US army and serious combat injuries, he still volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces.