European Jewish Communities Launch Campaigns to Support Israel

Jewish communities from throughout Europe have launched campaigns, in co-ordination with the European Jewish Congress, to show support and solidarity for Israel in the wake of attacks from Hezbollah, providing their governments and fellow citizens with a balanced view of the reality of the situation.

Numerous demonstrations and other public actions have been held by Jewish leaders throughout Europe to show solidarity with Israel, and to denounce the terrorist group Hezbollah as well as its supporters in Syria and Iran. Large public rallies have been held in Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Kiev and London, where several thousand people turned out at a solidarity rally.

In France, Germany and the Netherlands, Jewish community organizations have taken out full page ads in major newspapers, declaring European Jews’ solidarity with Israel, and calling on the European Union to finally take action against Hezbollah. The European Jewish Congress did the same, issuing full page announcements in the pan-European newspapers International Herald Tribune and the European Voice.

The European Jewish Congress ad appeared in the July 24th issue of the International Herald Tribune and will appear in the July 27th issue of the European Voice and urges the European Union to finally implement UN Security Council Resolution 1559.

In France, the Representative Council of French Jewish Organizationsand the European Jewish Congress published a joint announcement in Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération, quoting President Chirac, who stated in a 2005 speech that “leaders of States who would use terrorist means against us must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part”. The announcement asked readers to reflect on what France’s reaction would be if Marseille was attacked by terrorists.

In Germany, the Central Council of German Jews ran announcements in the Frankfurter Allgemeine, Die Welt and the Suddeutsche Zeitung on July 20th, noting that the responsibility for the present crisis is not with Israel, but in fact with the Lebanese government, that has not adhered to UN Security Council Resolution 1559 and disarmed a terrorist movement that is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel.

In the Netherlands NIK, the Organisation of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands placed an announcement that appeared in four Dutch newspapers, including Telegraph and NRC Handelsblad on July 20th, calling for solidarity with the Israeli people, and calling on Dutch citizens to join a public demonstration in support of Israel.

The 40 affiliated communities of the EJC have been liasing with their respective governments in coordination with the EJC, on the basis of the following points:

– The European Union and its member states must do their utmost to ensure that all three abducted IDF soldiers are liberated
– UN Security Council Resolution 1559 must be implemented and properly followed by European governments, who need to use their privileged relations with Arab states to obtain a full disarmament of Hezbollah and the full deployment of the Lebanese army in South Lebanon
– European Jewish communities have been communicating to their respective governments that Israel is by no means using “disproportionate force” but in fact is responding to an equal and impending threat to its civilian population.

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