New President for the Jewish State of Israel

June 2, 2021

Israel has a new President, Mr Isaac Herzog. The Herzog’s have a fine tradition of important positions in Israel: his grandfather was a Chief Rabbi of Israel, and his father, Chaim, a former President of Israel too.

We wish the 11th President of Israel lots of Mazal, lots of strength and lots of courage. Qualities that we know from our many contacts with Mr Herzog, are not in short supply where he is concerned.

Additional Articles

EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION Annual Policy Conference Budapest: 20-21 June LIVE

For the first time, the European Parliament states that Hezbollah is responsible for Lebanon’s devastating political and economic crisis

A resolution owverwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament states: “Whereas Hezbollah still controls key ministries in the Lebanese Government; whereas Hezbollah has been listed as a terror organisation by several EU Member States; whereas Hezbollah has repeatedly shown its strong ideological allegiance with Iran, which is destabilising the Lebanese Government and undermining its much-needed cohesion.”

In a resolution on Lebanon adopted earlier this week, the European Parliament clearly stated that Hezbollah is responsible for the country’s devastating political and economic crisis and the repression of the 2019 popular movement.
The resolution, which was adopted with a overwhelming and cross-party support, stresses the need for full Lebanese sovereignty and laments detrimental outside interference.
The text reads: “Whereas Hezbollah still controls key ministries in the Lebanese Government; whereas Hezbollah has been listed as a terror organisation by several EU Member States; whereas Hezbollah has repeatedly shown its strong ideological allegiance with Iran, which is destabilising the Lebanese Government and undermining its much-needed cohesion.”
The resolution further threatens “the introduction of targeted sanctions for obstructing or undermining the democratic political process.”
The text was adopted with 575 yes votes, 71 no votes and 39 abstentions.
The resolution said that the European Union should still consider imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who block the progress of the new government.
Taking note of Lebanon’s formation of a government two weeks ago after more than a year of political deadlock, the European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, said EU governments cannot yet release pressure on the country.
Despite the fact that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament that the time for sanctions had passed because of the formation of a government. The EU has welcomed the announcement of the new government led by Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The European parliament “deeply urges Lebanese leaders to keep their promises and be a functional government”, the resolution said.
The EU agreed in June to prepare travel bans and asset freezes for Lebanese politicians accused of corruption and obstructing efforts to form a government, financial mismanagement and human rights abuses.
EU must take stand against Hezbollah, say ECR MEPs
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a center-right political group in the EU parliament, strongly welcomed the adoption of the resolution. ‘’The ECR Group endorses the European Parliament’s view that Hezbollah is responsible for Lebanon’s devastating political and economic crisis and the repression of the 2019 popular movement.”
” For the first time, MEPs have recognised the organisation’s strong ideological allegiance with Iran which acts to destabilise Lebanon,’’ it noted.
For the group, Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers said the resolution ‘’greatly challenges the left-liberal groups to come to terms with Hezbollah’s true terrorist nature and to do away with the made-up distinction between the so-called military and political wings of the organisation.’’
‘’It is a distinction that is strongly denied by Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Naim Qassem, himself who stresses that Hezbollah has one single leadership and that no distinction between wings exists,’’ Weimers added.
“This must be the European Parliament’s strongest condemnation yet of Iran and their terror proxy Hezbollah for undermining the stability of Lebanon,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute.
“European lawmakers have thus sent a clear warning to the regime in Tehran and their Shiite terror group that it is no longer business as usual. The Lebanese people deserve freedom, democracy and prosperity–neither of which will be attainable as long as Hezbollah and Iran can continue to drag the country into corruption, crime and war,” he added.

Red Lines Follow-Up: Meeting with Special Envoy for Promotion of Freedom of Religion outside the EU

Earlier today, the EJA’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Alex Benjamin, and its Political Affairs Advisor, Mr. Mihails Vorobeičiks-Mellers, have had the honour of once again meeting with Mr. Ján Figeľ, Special Envoy for Promotion of Freedom of Religion outside the EU. With the function itself created only in May 2016, Mr. Figeľ, former EU Commissioner and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, became the first person to hold the position. The policy framework for the Special Envoy’s mandate is regulated by the “EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief”, which have been approved by the EU Member States back in 2013.

With the nearing European Parliament elections coming in May this year, the meeting took place at a time of notable significance, both to the EU – and wider Europe – as a whole and its Jewish community in particular. A number of topics have been touched upon, including the continuing rise in popularity of the more radical political ideologies on both ends of the political spectrum, possible – and, regrettably, nowadays observable – legal limitations to the freedom of religion, the European Commission’s role in promoting and protecting the respective rights of the EU’s inhabitants as well as the 5 red lines, which have been recently adopted during our conference back in November 2018.

Since Mr. Figeľ’s mandate encompasses the entirety of the world outside the Union, and the EJA is active throughout Europe, this meeting has been particularly important to us. Thus, during the discussion special attention has also been given to the EU candidate countries and other European states neighbouring the Union. Along with the present and future lives of the local Jewish communities, such topical issues as the legality of ritual slaughter and circumcision have been specifically raised. 

We very much look forward to a continued dialogue and cooperation with Mr. Figeľ on issues of mutual interest and concern.

#LightingEurope

We hope you all had the chance to light the candles yesterday with your loved ones and maybe have a Sufganiya or two…
Many have joind us yesterday to spread the light on social media as well under the #LightingEurope campaign…
There are still 7 days to go and much light to bring all across Europe.
Join us today and the days after! all you have to do is post a pictue with your menorah and use the hashtag #LightingEurope.
Happy Chanukah!
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