Highlights from Sebastian Kurz's Keynote Speech on EU-Israel Relations and Jewish Life in Europe
Over 20 legislators from the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) network discussed the Hezbollah threat with leading Knesset Member Avi Dichter, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Michael Doran, and AJC Jerusalem Director Avital Leibovich. In light of Poland’s V4 Group presidency, TFI members Michał Jach, Chair of the Sejm's National Defence Committee, and Michał Kamiński, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate, hosted the exclusive virtual gathering in the presence of Israel’s ambassadors to Poland and Czechia.
Over the past few weeks alone, Israel’s global diplomatic position has dramatically changed. AJC CEO David Harris reflects in The Times of Israel on the positive trend that began already years ago. Whether it’s the Start-Up Nation’s vast knowledge industry and innovative power or the fact that Israel, an arid country, has become a water exporter – country after country is seeking deeper ties with Jerusalem, including states in the Arab world.
With Lebanon’s future at stake, France holds the key to making a difference. Writing in the French weekly Le Point, AJC’s Simone Rodan-Benzaquen and Anne-Sophie Sebban-Bécache write from Paris that President Macron’s efforts will fail unless the government finally gets real on Hezbollah: “By considering Hezbollah as a legitimate interlocutor in the process — engaging its representatives in Lebanon — France is perpetuating the problems. Unless Macron addresses the issue of Hezbollah, nothing will change.”
AJC unveiled its plans to open an office in Abu Dhabi after the historic announcement of the U.S.-brokered peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. For over 25 years AJC has engaged with the Gulf by advancing understanding and fostering cooperation between Arab states and the Jewish people. As reported in The Times of Israel, UAE’s envoy to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, hailed AJC’s “longstanding dialogue and engagement with the UAE” which “has played a productive role over many years.”
This month’s historic White House signing ceremony for peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain showed how conventional wisdom about the Middle East is crumbling before our eyes and a new regional peace doctrine is unfolding. AJC Managing Director of Global Communications Avi Mayer argues in Newsweek that the Abraham Accords are a “wake-up call to Palestinians who have long been led to believe that Arab leaders will sacrifice their own national interests on the altar of Palestinian rejectionism.”
AJC and the National Urban League wrote a new chapter in the history of Black-Jewish relations in the United States. #BlackJewishUnity week featured groundbreaking online events viewed over 100,000 times and - as part of the campaign - AJC President Harriet P. Schleifer and National Urban League head Marc H. Morial published an op-ed in USA Today, America’s largest circulation paper: “Blacks and Jews can draw from a long history spanning many decades to tackle today’s monumental challenges. Once again, we stand shoulder to shoulder as Lewis did in 1965 with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”
More and more European countries are declaring all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. AJC discussed this trend with Ambassador Nathan Sales, U.S. State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Sajid Javid MP, who as Home Secretary initiated the UK ban on Hezbollah, and Hans-Georg Engelke, German State Secretary at the Interior Ministry. On the AJC program, Ambassador Sales revealed that Hezbollah moved large amounts of ammonium nitrate through Europe, the same explosive compound it used in the 2012 suicide bombing in Bulgaria.
AJC’s Transatlantic Institute and the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), an inter-parliamentary group in the European Parliament with the goal of strengthening the trilateral partnership between the U.S., Israel...
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.