Highlights from Sebastian Kurz's Keynote Speech on EU-Israel Relations and Jewish Life in Europe
The historic Abraham Accords were preceded by years of behind the scenes work trying to bring Israel and Gulf countries closer together. In his JNS column, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Director Jason Isaacson reveals how AJC played a crucial role in these developments by meeting prominent Gulf leaders since the 1990s.
In a landmark initiative, 318 lawmakers from both sides of the atlantic and across party lines called on EU member states and fellow democracies to end the systematic discrimination of Israel at the UN. Spearheaded by the AJC-backed Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) and released a day before the start of the UN General Assembly, the legislators call on governments to vote against the excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions, work to reform the UN Human Rights Council and abolish its discriminatory Agenda Item 7, and help discontinue UN committees and programs with specific anti-Israel agendas.
In a recent European Parliament hearing, lawmakers across the aisle condemned the teaching of antisemitism and glorification of terror in Palestinian school books, urging the EU to show zero tolerance for such incitement. The Georg-Eckert Institute, which carried out an EU-commissioned study on the Palestinain textbooks, clarified that those books that contain antisemitism and other forms of incitement clearly violate UNESCO standards. The study’s executive summary had given rise to misinterpretation on this issue.
3 September 2021 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute applauds the calls by Members of the European Parliament in yesterday’s unprecedented debate on Palestinian Authority textbooks to finally end incitement in Palestinian school material--if necessary by withholding some funding to...
A year ago the UAE normalised relations with Israel. Following this development AJC decided to open its first office in an Arab country--AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding. AJC Abu Dhabi is also AJC’s 13th overseas mission. On the 15th of September AJC Abu Dhabi launched its Twitter account (@AJCintheGulf), reaching out to an impressive audience of already 25.000 followers. Be sure to follow them!
One of Greece’s most prominent newspapers, Kathimerini, interviewed AJC CEO David Harris on the challenges the Eastern Mediterranean countries face, from Turkey’s belligerent behaviour to Islamist threats. Harris hailed the vibrant and strategic trilateral alliance between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, a crucial partnership long supported by AJC, as contributing to peace in the region.
The conference of Durban IV, celebrating the legacy of the 2001 conference that turned into an anti-Israel hate fest, sees more participants drop out, says AJC Europe Managing Director Simone Rodan-Benzaquen in New Europe. More recently, Germany joined the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the U.S. in withdrawing from the conference, citing the risk of repeated abuse of antisemitic expressions and the disproportionate and unilateral attention to Israel.
On 12 June 2021, Naftali Bennett, leader of Israel’s New Right party, was sworn in as Prime Minister as part of a rotation agreement with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. The unprecedented coalition holds only a wafer-thin majority and brings together political parties with vast ideological differences, including for the first time an Arab party. MEP Lukas Mandl, Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post Senior Contributing Editor and Diplomatic Correspondent, Daniel Schwammenthal, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director, and Roland Freudenstein, Wilfried Martens Centre Policy Director discussed how the new government will address domestic issues and foreign affairs.
When will Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota face real consequences for her incendiary, antisemitic comments? In this column for Newsweek, AJC CEO David Harris writes that it’s high time. “There should be clear-cut consequences for any member of Congress, of either party, responsible for a growing list of unambiguously bigoted comments.”
At AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, two foreign policy veterans participated in The Max Fisher Annual Program, The Great Debate: Is the Iran Nuclear Deal Worth Saving? The session pitted Ambassador Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States (2014-19), the United Nations (2009-14), and Israel (2003-06) against Michael Doran, Middle East analyst and National Security Council Senior Director (2005-07). Moderated by Jason Isaacson, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer.