Transatlantic Friends of Israel

Mission statement

Transatlantic Friends of Israel

The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) is a cross-party, inter-parliamentary group dedicated to the postwar order of transatlantic security and cooperation bestowed on us by visionary American and European leaders. We are united in the conviction that Israel, the Middle East’s only liberal democracy, ought to be understood as an integral part of this vital security, political, and economic architecture.

We affirm that the alliance between Europe, the United States, Canada, and Israel is anchored in shared values, interests, and history. This partnership is a crucial vehicle to strengthen our security and prosperity and to protect the rules-based international order.

We recognize that the threats we face today – from rising extremism and terrorism to radical regimes and nuclear proliferation – require ever closer cooperation among our democracies. In this struggle, Israel is Europe’s and America’s first line of defense in a volatile region. With its first-class security services, cutting-edge high-tech sector, and thriving knowledge-based economy, the Jewish state is a vital ally and partner.

We urge Europe, the United States, Canada, and Israel to deepen their political, security and economic cooperation within the framework of a strong partnership. We refuse to allow the inevitable differences that arise even among the closest partners to jeopardize this bond.

Read onClose

In Focus

Sign up for the Transatlantic Institute's monthly newsletter with analysis, highlights, as well as updates from the Transatlantic Friends of Israel.

Campaign

Transatlantic Declaration: The EU Must Ban Hezbollah

In an unprecedented transatlantic initiative, hundreds of cross-party lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel urged the EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. The leadership of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) launched the campaign on 17 July 2020, the eve of the twin anniversaries of Hezbollah’s deadly bomb attacks on the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994 and an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012.

GO TO THE DECLARATION AND LIST OF SIGNATORIES

Members

Membership

The growing membership of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) includes lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic committed to strengthening the partnership between the United States, Israel, Canada, and Europe.

GO TO ALL MEMBERS

Media

21/10/2020

TFI Virtual Meeting with Knesset Member Avi Dichter and Michael Doran (Hudson Institute)

The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group held an exclusive briefing entitled “The Central European Case for Banning Hezbollah.“ Moderator Avital Leibovich, AJC Jerusalem Director, discussed with MK Avi Dichter, Member of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael Doran from...

07/10/2020

Over 20 MEPs Demand EU Funding-Cut to Palestinian Authority over Incitement in Textbooks

Brussels, 7 October 2020 – A cross-party group of over 20 Members of the European Parliament from 15 countries have urged the EU to partially withhold funding to the Palestinian Authority until Ramallah ends its antisemitic incitement in school textbooks. 

Citing ...

17/07/2020

It's Time for the EU to List Hezbollah as a Terror Organization

On 17 July, the eve of the anniversaries of Hezbollah's deadly bomb attacks in Argentina (1994) and in Bulgaria (2012), TFI Secretary General Daniel Schwammenthal and TFI Chair MEP Lukas Mandl co-authored an op-ed in Newsweek entitled "It's Time for the E.U. to List Hezbollah as a Terror Organization."

17/07/2020

Major News Outlets Cover Call for EU Ban of Hezbollah

On the anniversary eve of Hezbollah's bomb attacks in Argentina in 1994 and Bulgaria in 2012, the leadership of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) presented to EU leaders a historic call for an EU ban of Hezbollah signed by over 240 lawmakers from 27 European countries, the U.S., Canada, and Israel. The declaration launch received wide coverage in the international media, including in POLITICO Europe, as well as in newspapers in the US, Germany, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, the Baltics and of course Israel:

17/07/2020

Webinar: Over 240 Lawmakers Call for EU Hezbollah Ban

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.

16/07/2020

Hundreds of Lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel Call for EU Ban of Hezbollah

Brussels, 17 July 2020 – In an unprecedented transatlantic initiative, over 230 cross-party lawmakers from Europe, North America, and Israel urged the EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. The leadership of the ...

18/05/2020

Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 2): MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou and Rep. Brian Mast

Part two of the Transatlantic Dialogues series bringing together legislators from both sides of the Atlantic featured Greek MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). Moderated by AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal, the lawmakers covered a wide range of issues, from international trade and Iranian belligerency to relations with China and opportunities and challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Can the transatlantic partners find some much-needed common ground? Find out in this webinar!

06/05/2020

Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 1): Rep. Ted Deutch and MEP Lukas Mandl

Relations between the U.S. and the EU have experienced unprecedented strains in recent years. In this first Transatlantic Dialogues webinar moderated by Julie Rayman Fishman, AJC Deputy Director for Policy and Diplomatic Affairs in Washington, Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, Chair of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), and U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, discuss how the two sides can overcome their differences on Iran, Russia, Israel, and other key issues.

30/04/2020

Germany’s Hezbollah Ban a Model for Europe?

After Germany’s decision last week to ban Hezbollah, the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) caucus held its first webinar entitled “Europe and Hezbollah: A New EU Approach to Iran's Proxy.“ Moderator Daniel Schwammenthal discussed with TFI Chair and Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, EU Parliament Vice President from Germany Nicola Beer, and Michael Doran from the Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute the significance of Berlin’s momentous decision, the prospects for the EU to follow suit, and a common transatlantic approach to Iran and its terror proxies.

28/04/2020

TFI Statement on EU-Israel Cooperation to Battle Coronavirus

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...

Past events

July 17, 2020

Launch of Transatlantic Declaration: The EU Must Ban Hezbollah

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.
May 11, 2020

Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 2): Rep. Brian Mast and MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou

Please join us for a Transatlantic Friends of Israel webinar on Monday, 11 May at 18:00 CET entitled "Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 2): Rep. Brian Mast and MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou." Join us for the second...
May 06, 2020

Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 1): Rep. Ted Deutch and MEP Lukas Mandl

Please join us for a Transatlantic Friends of Israel webinar on Wednesday, 6 May at 18:00 CET entitled "Transatlantic Dialogues (Part 1): Rep. Ted Deutch and MEP Lukas Mandl." Relations between the United States and...
April 30, 2020

Europe and Hezbollah

The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) caucus held its first webinar entitled “Europe and Hezbollah: A New EU Approach to Iran's Proxy.“ Moderator Daniel Schwammenthal discussed with TFI Chair and Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, EU Parliament Vice President from Germany Nicola Beer, and Michael Doran from the Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute the significance of Berlin’s momentous decision, the prospects for the EU to follow suit, and a common transatlantic approach to Iran and its terror proxies.
November 19, 2019

Transatlantic Friends of Israel Breakfast Discussion

The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group hosted Brigadier General (Res.) Assaf Orion, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, for a breakfast discussion on Israel’s geostrategic situation and the Jewish state’s multi-faceted security challenges. The exclusive audience included 35 cross-party MEPs and parliamentary advisors. H.E. Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, and Christina Tomlinson, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs of the U.S. Mission to the EU, also attended.
July 09, 2019

Launch of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel

The AJC Transatlantic Institute launched the inter-parliamentary Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group in the EU Parliament. TFI Chair Lukas Mandl, Austrian MEP (EPP), co-hosted the kick-off event with German MEP Dietmar Köster (S&D) and TFI Vice Chair MEP Frédérique Ries (Renew Europe) from Belgium. The standing-room only audience of some 60 people included 25 MEPs from 13 countries. TFI is the first-ever friendship caucus specifically committed to bolstering the trilateral partnership between the U.S., Israel, and Europe.

Supporters

It is an honor to send greetings to the Transatlantic Friends of Israel, a new cross-party parliamentary friendship group dedicated to fostering strong transatlantic ties with Israel. Key foreign policy issues - including stalwart support for our allies in Europe and in Israel - traditionally enjoy bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. It is my hope that the Transatlantic Friends of Israel can work towards achieving the same unwavering support in Europe for the Jewish state.

Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the U.S. Senate
10/07/2019

As a long-time believer in the deepening of transatlantic ties and a staunch supporter of Israel, I was delighted to learn about AJC’s new Transatlantic Friends of Israel inter-parliamentary friendship group. With a clear set of common interests and values, this trilateral project could not have come soon enough. As this group continues to grow and expand, I look forward to working together to pursue our agenda of partnership and friendship.

Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-17), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
10/07/2019