JPOST: Pro-Israel European politicians gather for online conference on Jerusalem
Allies of Israel from all over Europe gathered March 3rd for the online conference 'Jerusalem: Culture, Faith and Science.'
The event was hosted by MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen and Slovakian MP Peter Kremsky, and organized in cooperation with the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF). The IAF coordinates the activities of Israel Allies Caucuses in parliaments around the world to promote communication between politicians that support Israel's existence. Ruissen is chairman of the European Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus, and Kremsky chairman of the sister Slovakian caucus.
The conference speakers highlighted the importance of Jerusalem's role in Jewish history and Israeli stewardship's contributions to the religious diversity and multi-faith access to key religious sites.
"We should cherish the special character of Jerusalem in the future by not denying its past, and its 3000 years of Jewish history, which makes the city even more special." Said MEP Ruissen, "I am convinced that only a democratic Israel can guarantee a viable way of life based on mutual respect for all major religions and cultures.”
With the recent move of the Czech diplomatic office to Jerusalem as a backdrop, Kremsky traced the longstanding connection between the Czech Republic and Jerusalem. Czechoslovakia opened its first consulate in Jerusalem in 1926, and President Masaryk was the first president to visit after World War I. "This is the part of our history that connects us to Jerusalem," said Kremsky. "I am thankful for these strong roots between our two countries and I hope this alliance will become even stronger in the coming years."
Discussion also settled on the challenges to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. "Today, we can hear voices trying to deny Israel's right to choose its own capital and trying to erase Jewish history from this city," Kremsky said. "I believe every sovereign country has the right to choose its capital. United Jerusalem has already been part of the modern Israeli state for 54 years. Since 1967 believers of all religions can freely worship in this city and visit their holy places. Throughout the years Israel has shown its capability to administer this city and its treasures.”
MK Matan Kahana, member of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the 'sister-caucus' to the Israel Allies Caucuses, thanked the attendees and speakers for their supportive stance on Israel and Jerusalem. He emphasized the legal, moral, and historical connections that Israel, as the Jewish state, had to Jerusalem, and empowered their "...resolve to protect Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.”
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