The European Jewish Congress (EJC) met on Tuesday, September 19th with the Presidency of the European Union, the Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, to ensure that certain preconditions are met before the EU resumes aid to the Palestinian Authority.
In their meeting, EJC President Pierre Besnainou told Prime Minister Vanhanen that if a new Palestinian national unity government is formed, it must secure the release of the abducted Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and meet the requirements of the international community, namely renouncing violence, recognizing Israel and accepting interim peace deals between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Abbas’ leadership must be strengthened” said President Besnainou, recalling his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week, where the Palestinian leader informed the EJC that the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is in good health.
The EJC and the Finnish Presidency also discussed the rise of anti-Semitic acts in many European countries since this summer, and expressed concern over the Iranian regime and its nuclear ambitions.
“As the Iranian President has not stopped his endless threats to wipe out the State of Israel, and continues to deny the Holocaust, this President – one of today’s most public anti-Semites – is a great issue of worry for European Jews” said President Besnainou. “Europe must take a stronger stance in approaching the Iranian government.”
The EJC Delegation, which was led by President Besnainou, consisted of EJC Secretary General Serge Cwajgenbaum, President of the Austrian Jewish Community Ariel Muzicant and the Executive Director of the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland Dan Kantor.