European Christians mobilize to defend Jewish sovereignty over undivided Jerusalem
- Brussels, 20th September 2011
Approximately 800 Christians from Holland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy and Switzerland gathered yesterday at Place Luxembourg in Brussels to urge the nations of European to keep Jerusalem united under Jewish sovereignty.
This meeting was one of many events worldwide being organized in response to the Palestinian Authority´s plans to request the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which commenced this week, to recognize a Palestinian State based on the 1949 Armistice Lines.
Creation of the proposed Palestinian State would re-divide Jerusalem. West Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty, but East Jerusalem (including the Old City of Jerusalem) would come under Palestinian sovereignty.
Speakers from different nations emphasized the significance and implications of the unilateral Palestinian initiative.
Bas Belder, Chairman of the European Parliament´s Delegation to the Israeli Knesset, said that so long as the Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, no Palestinian State should be recognized. Mr. Belder and 15 other leading European legislators have sent an open letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and representatives of the UN Security Council members, arguing for rejection of the Palestinian initiative. The legislators give five arguments why recognition would be a mistake, and conclude that "the way to peace is through mutual acceptance, bilateral agreements and genuine cooperation - not through one-sided unilateral measures".
Harald Eckert, Chairman of the European Coalition for Israel, explained that "recognizing unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would violate international law. In 1922 the League of Nations adopted the Mandate for Palestine, in which they guaranteed to help the Jews re-establish their historical homeland in Palestine. Under this Mandate the Jewish people were entitled to live in all of Jerusalem and the West Bank. The rights and obligations under the Mandate for Palestine remain binding today. The nations of the world cannot just ignore their obligations towards the Jewish people."
Jack van der Tang, Pillar of Fire, explained why so many people came to Brussels for the event. "As believers from Israel and the nations we stand here together and confess that we accept everything God’s Word teaches us and warns us for in the Tanach. Next week is Rosh Hasjana. This time the sound of the shofar will be louder than ever, a worldwide alarm of imminent danger.That is why we stand here, as Christians and people of goodwill, in the midst of Brussels, capital of the European Union, to cry out before this horror unfolds: Don’t let it happen!”
This is a critical moment for both Israel and Europe, explained Tomas Sandell, Chairman, European Coalition for Israel. "The situation is similar to that in 1938 when the nations of the world had a last chance to save Jewish refugees out of Germany but failed to do so. In 1938 the world community did not confront Hitler but chose appeasement. A year later Europe was in flames. We cannot allow history to repeat itself."
"We are not against the Arab Palestinians", said Andrew Tucker
, Executive Director of Christians for Israel International: "But the Arabs and the whole international community need to recognize that their well-being depends on the way they treat Israel and the Jews. The support of a Jewish State with Jerusalem as its capital will not harm the interests of the Arabs. On the contrary, a healthy, democratic Jewish state based on respect for individual rights and the rule of law, with Jerusalem as its capital, is the best possible guarantee for protection and blessing to all in the region, both Jew and non-Jew. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is not an obstacle but the key to peace and prosperity in the Middle East. In other words - Israel is not the cause of the problem, it is the solution!"
According to Edda Fogarollo, Chairperson of Christians for Israel in Italy, "Italy has a special responsibility this week in New York. Italy was one of the Allied Powers in World War I, and was host of the San Remo conference in April 1920, laying the foundation for the Mandate for Palestine and the Jewish State of Israel. But in the 1930s Italy was on the wrong side of the table. We allowed hundreds of thousands of Jews to be killed in the Shoah. We have done terrible things to the Jewish people. Mr. Berlusconi must rectify this by voting for a unified Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty."
Marie Louise Weissenböck, Chairperson of Christians for Israel Austria, reminded the audience of how important Jerusalem is for the Jewish people. In the words of Eli Wiesel: "Jerusalem is above politics.... Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory. Pressure will not produce a solution. Is there a solution? There must be, there will be. ... Jerusalem must remain the world's Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope."
Michael Freund, former advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Chairman of Shavei Israel, gave his view as an orthodox Jew living in Israel: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people. For more than 2000 years we have prayed to return to Jerusalem. Does the international community honestly think that - after all the persecutions, forced conversions and pogroms in Europe – we are just going to get up and leave? No way! We are here to stay. At the same time, the people in Israel are nervous. No-one knows what is going to happen. To see so many Christians gather here today gives us great comfort and strength to persevere."
Worldwide campaign to defend the rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria
Christians for Israel (C4I) is a partner of the the Brussels-based European Coalition for Israel (ECI), which was established in 2004 to advocate the rights and interests of the Jewish people within the European political institutions. The ECI organises events and campaigns in Brussels, Strasbourg and the capital cities of the European member states, and has a wide network of supporters and partners throughout Europe and beyond.
C4I and ECI have completed and are planning many activities in relation to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State:
Meetings with political leaders in European capital cities
In June and July 2011, a series of meetings and conferences were organized with political leaders and journalists in Europe to advocate the rights of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. Meetings were organised in Brussels, The Hague, Rome, London, Paris and Berlin. Key speaker at most of these meetings was Dr. Jacques Gauthier, Canadian lawyer and human rights advocate, and author of the book Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem.
15 leading (ex) politicians in Europe have signed an open letter, in which they present 5 key reasons why the UN General Assembly should promote negotiations, and vote not to recognize a unilateral Palestinian State. This letter will be handed to the UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the High Representatives of the members of the UN Security Council and other selected UN members.
Keep Jerusalem United public demonstrations
Public demonstrations and other media activities were held in The Hague (13 Sept) and Brussels (19 Sept). Thousands of Jews and Christians participated in these public events to show solidarity with Israel, pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, and stand up for the rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Similar events are being organised in Nigeria, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Sierre Leone, Pakistan, Malaysia, Italy, and Austria. For more information see www.c4israel.org
The ECI has prepared and published various documents under the title San Remo resources. In these documents, the historical and sovereign rights of the Jewish people to Jerusalem are explained and demonstrated. See www.ec4i.org
Give Peace a Chance documentary film
The ECI has produced a short film about the status of Jerusalem under international law, entitled Give Peace a Chance. This film includes valuable historical information and interviews with leading international lawyers: http://www.GivePeaceAChance.info
The global Keep Jerusalem United prayer initiative enables Christians worldwide to pray for the Jewish people and the Peace of Jerusalem: www.keepjerusalemunited.com
Christians for Israel Germany (Christen an der seite Israels) has collected almost 47,000 signatories to a declaration in support of Israel. This declaration has been presented to the German government. See www.israelaktuell.de
In New York from 12 – 20 September Christians from many nations will unite to pray for Peace of Jerusalem, and lobby on behalf of Israel prior to, and during, the UN meetings. See www.ec4i.org
Ongoing information and awareness
C4I and ECI continue to publish many articles promoting a better understanding of the historical and legal rights of the Jewish people. These are published in the Dutch, German and English language versions of the newspaper Israel & Christians Today, as well as the websites www.whyisrael.org
and social media.
Christians for Israel International
Tel: +31 6 22401085
European Coalition for Israel
Tel: +358 40 8400238