13 May 2021 - Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute hailed the outpour of support for Israel in a statement signed by over 50 European and North American lawmakers from 20 countries in response to indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The statement - an initiative of the cross-party Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group – underlines the Jewish state’s right of self-defense, condemns the war crimes of Iran-backed Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and regrets the loss of innocent life on both sides caused by Palestinian terrorism.
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“We affirm our unwavering and steadfast support for the State of Israel in her hour of need. As members and supporters of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), we express our firm belief that the Jewish state - our key democratic ally - has, like all sovereign states, not only the right but the duty to defend its citizens against terror and rockets,” read the statement by leading legislators from the European Parliament and various European national legislatures from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives and the Parliament of Canada.
“It’s not only that these terrorists started this latest round of confrontation. Hamas and Islamic Jihad commit the double war crime of murdering Israeli civilians while using their own population as human shields. In stark contrast, the Israeli army, in its efforts to protect its own population, is doing its utmost to avoid harming Palestinian civilians, even warning them on cell phones ahead of attacks.”
“If we fail to hold Hamas and Islamic Jihad responsible for all casualties, it will only incentivize them to strike time and again, bringing ever more suffering to the Jewish state and the people of Gaza,” the lawmakers added.
Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based EU Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute, who also serves as the Secretary General of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), said: “This tremendous show of support from so many lawmakers from across Europe is of critical importance. Given the abundance of misinformation in the media and some politicians’ mealy-mouthed ‘all-sides-ism,’ this powerful statement brings much-needed moral clarity into the debate. Bravo to these courageous lawmakers!”
Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Israel’s ambassador to the EU and NATO, said: “I would like to thank this distinguished group of legislators from the Transatlantic Friends of Israel and beyond for their heartwarming expression of support. It’s at moments like these that your friendship matters the most. I also thank the American Jewish Committee for its enduring support for the State of Israel. Just like these lawmakers and others have done, I expect all of Europe to meet its commitment to the security of Israel, unequivocally condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and show solidarity with the people of Israel.”