The Importance of Israel
After the launch of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) inter-parliamentary group in the EU Parliament in July 2019, the first national chapter opened on October 13 in the Austrian parliament, under the leadership of Chair MP Martin Engelberg and the support of lawmakers from the Greens, the Social-Democrats and NEOS, the liberal party. With over 150 parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic as members, the growing TFI network is the first-ever cross-party friendship caucus specifically committed to strengthening the trilateral partnership between the U.S., Israel, and Europe.
At the sidelines of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the 2001 Durban conference was meant to unite countries in the fight against racism. Instead, it became an antisemitic hate fest. While its ugly legacy has fueled Jew-hatred for over two decades, 30+ countries decided to skip the anniversary event last month. Gilad Erdan, Ambassador of Israel to the United States and the United Nations, and Joëlle Fiss, Author of The Durban Diaries, joined AJC’s Felice Gaer and Simone Rodan-Benzaquen for a timely conversation on Durban’s ugly legacy.
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.
Will EU Member states and other democracies finally end the systemic discrimination against Israel at the UN? In a column for Newsweek, AJC TAI Director Daniel Schwammenthal and TFI Chair Lukas Mandl argue that apart from harming the world’s only Jewish State, the UN’s anti-Israel bias also hurts the organization itself. “The UN's own reputation is greatly damaged in the process—as are the many genuine victims of grave human rights violations around the globe. They are far too often neglected as the UN is busy pursuing its anti-Israel obsession”
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!
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.
French President Macron Pledges Commitment to Israel’s Security and Fight against Anti-Jewish Hatred at AJC Global Forum
"France's profound attachment to Israel's security [...] has never wavered," declared French President Emmanuel Macron to an international audience at AJC Global Forum 2021. Stressing France’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism in December 2019, President Macron reiterated his commitment to combat hatred and extremism across the country.
In a landmark conversation during AJC Global Forum 2021, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, discussed the momentum brought by the normalization of UAE-Israel ties, the spread of peace across the Middle East, AJC’s newest office in Abu Dhabi, and more with AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson.
European Commission President Vows to Strengthen Ties with Israel and Fight Antisemitism at AJC Global Forum
Addressing thousands of participants worldwide at AJC Global Forum 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to strengthen ties with Israel, “a vitally important country for the European Union, not only because of our common past, but also because of our common future,” and underlined the EU’s commitment to fight rising antisemitism across the continent.
Brussels, 18 May 2021 - “Heavily-armed terror organizations unscrupulously fire rockets at civilian residential areas. Children, women and men are traumatized by this rocket fire and other acts of terror and are ultimately the victims of these terrorists,” says Lukas Mandl, speaker on foreign...