Minister for Religious Affairs David Azulai was in Brussels and Antwerp as part of a European Tour, as an honoured and valued guest of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, part of the European Jewish Association.
His trip’s focus was two-fold, to brief key EU decision makers and supporters of Israel as to the current lay of the land in Israeli politics and the Middle East as a whole, and to defend Jewish practice such as shechita with influencers at Belgian Parliamentary level.
Meeting with Jewish advocacy groups and community organisations, the Minister was also in fact-finding and listening mode, talking comments, observations and feedback right back to the Israeli cabinet table.
The Minister’s packed schedule included
A visit the historic Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam meeting Rabbis and heads of Jewish communities and a meeting with Pro Israel Christians.
In Brussels, Mr Azulai chaired a working breakfast meeting with the headS of Jewish organizations working in the EU institutions. He then paid a visit to the Jewish ‘Ganenu’ school, followed by a Lunch and briefing with MEPs and diplomats from the a number of Permanent Representations to the EU. From lunch he held a Meeting with the house speaker of the federal government of Belgium before dashing to a series of meetings with members of the European commission who are dealing with the fight against antisemitism, and finally rounding off with a dinner meeting with the heads of the Jewish communities of Brussels.
We thank Minister Azulai for his stamina and fortitude in what was a busy trip, and his strong diplomatic skills in navigating tricky and contentious issues with ease at the European Institutions and at Federal government level in Belgium.