The President of the European Jewish Congress Pierre Besnainou took part in a study conference organized by the Israeli President Moshe Katsav this weekend, discussing with the Israeli President and other distinguished guests the potential strength of organized European Jewry, in light of an enlarged European Union.
Along with President Katsav and Avi Primor, former Israel Ambassador to the European Union, President Besnainou spoke of the role of European Jews in creating increased links and bettering relations between Europe and Israel, and forging understanding between Europeans and Israelis.
European Jews can help their fellow Europeans have a deeper understanding of Israel, just as they can help dispel prejudges Israelis might have of Europeans,” said President Besnainou.
Discussing the emergence of a European Jewish political force, Besnainou explained the role of the EJC in promoting the current and varied concerns of European Jews, be it increased response to anti-Semitic attacks, or improving European-Israeli relations. He also discussed the need for European politicians to work more with representative bodies such as the EJC, and less with international Jewish organizations, although he saluted their work in Europe.
The forum, part of a series sponsored by the President’s office, takes place several times a year in Beit HaNasi under the title President’s Study Forum on the Diaspora.