JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel often finds itself outnumbered in international arenas like the UN. Now, one group is trying to level the playing field.
The biggest political conference here since the pandemic brought together members of parliament and international supporters of Israel. It’s called the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF).
“In 2004, the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus started in the Israeli parliament. And then in 2006, Congress in Washington, DC decided to start our first sister caucus, the congressional Israel Allies Caucus. Well, all these sister caucuses started getting started all over the world in different countries. So, we created the Israel Allies Foundation, so we could coordinate the activities of our sister caucuses around the world,” says IAF Director Josh Reinstein.
The organization now consists of 50 caucuses made up of 1,200 international lawmakers. Reinstein calls it faith-based diplomacy in action.
“When people take their biblical support and turn into real political action is the most important weapon that we have in our diplomatic arsenal today. It's the reason that we have embassies in Jerusalem. It's the reason we have legislation against anti-Semitism and BDS … we're seeing a sea change in how countries do Israel because of faith-based diplomacy,” says Reinstein.
Famous Soviet dissident and Israeli politician Natan Sharansky told the group why it’s more important than ever to stand with Israel.
“These days when, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is rising and this old hatred becomes new and modern hatred these days to see so many parliamentarians from all over the globe who come especially to demonstrate their solidarity and to take obligation, they'll continue fighting anti-Semitism in their own countries. That's very important,” says Sharansky.
Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum says IAF is “crucial” to fight “anti-Israel” rhetoric.
“To have here, a group of people who are proudly pro-Israel in these parliaments is strategic for Israel and is crucial for Israel. And we're very grateful,” she says.
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