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.

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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.

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News

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...

28/02/2020

Austrian Parliament Condemns BDS

Quoted in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post, TFI Chair Lukas Mandl hailed the Austrian parliament's condemnation of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel: “The Austrian parliament’s historic decision today to condemn any boycotts of Israeli goods shows that Austria stands on the side of Israel – not half-heartedly, but with full conviction."

27/02/2020

Statement on Austrian Parliament's Anti-BDS Bill

Vienna, 27 February 2020 - The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group welcomed the Austrian parliament’s condemnation of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, urging the Austrian government and other EU member states to heed the resolution’s call. Supported...

04/02/2020

Leading MEPs Call for EU Sanctions Against Iran

The Jerusalem Post reported that two leading lawmakers from the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) - the cross-party caucus promoting EU-Israel-U.S. ties - called for EU sanctions against the Iranian regime. Austrian MEP and TFI Chair Lukas Mandl said the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 on board crossed a “red line.” One of TFI’s Vice Chairs, Petras Auštrevičius of Lithuania, demanded Tehran be held accountable “for its terrorist activities that threaten also Europe and our key regional ally, Israel.”

12/11/2019

TFI Statement on EU Court of Justice Decision on Labeling

STATEMENT

Brussels, 12 November 2019

EU Court of Justice Decision on Labeling

We acknowledge today’s EU Court of Justice decision on EU labeling requirements for foodstuffs originating from beyond the 1948...

31/10/2019

Members of the European Parliament Visit Israel with AJC, Call for Association Council and EU Ban of Hezbollah

Jerusalem, 31 October 2019 - A leadership delegation of Members of the European Parliament associated with the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), the inter-parliamentary...

22/07/2019

What’s TFI all about?

After the launch of the cross-party Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) in the EU Parliament, Counterpoint host Daniel Schwammenthal spoke with TFI Chair MEP Lukas Mandl and Vice Chair MEP Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe) from Lithuania about the group’s priorities, including upgrading the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a speedy convening of an Association Council, and overall stronger ties between Israel, Europe, and the U.S. on the basis of shared democratic values.

09/07/2019

AJC Launches Inter-Parliamentary U.S.-Israel-EU Friendship Group

Brussels – 9 July 2019 –The AJC Transatlantic Institute launched today the inter-parliamentary “Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI)” group in the EU Parliament. Chaired by Austrian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Lukas Mandl (EPP), this is the first-ever cross-party friendship caucus...

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