Idag stod jag tillsammans med EIPA värd för en högtidslunch under närvaro av Israels EU-ambassadör, för att högtidlighålla Israels 70-årsdag.
Dear Rabbi Margolin,
Dear colleagues and guests,
We are all present here, in such a significant number, because we have plenty of reasons to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary.
We just watched some of Israel’s impressive achievements during the last 7 decades.
Its swift progress from a young, mainly agrarian, country to a bio-medical, hi-tech powerhouse – and to EU’s main trade partner.
Israel’s story is an impressive story, with new chapters in the making.
As friends of Israel we are part of Israel’s story – one of achievements and challenges, one whose turbulent history forged leaders into visionary statesmen.
Like David Ben Gurion – who took the bold decision to declare a Jewish State on the Land of Palestine, despite the stark rejection by the Arab world.
Like Golda Meir whose main objective was to see Israel accepted by the Arab neighboring countries.
She stated: “We do not rejoice in victories, we rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. Like Yitzhak Rabin, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who paid with his own life for his vision for peace.
Despite its successful history, rejections of Israel’s right to exist are spreading, even today.
Not only in the Arab world, through Iranian proxies, but at times even in our own continent. Through movements like the BDS – trough brutal anti-Semitic attacks, like the murdering of an 85-year old French Jewish woman and Holocaust survivor, on March 23, in Paris.
We promise not to overlook this kind of evil acts, and, I believe I speak on behalf of my colleagues, when I say that we will always fight back against those who question Israel’s right to exist. And those who violate the rights of the Jewish communities in Europe.
It´s this commitment, for ensuring the safety of the State of Israel, that shapes also some of our stories.
Over the last years, many of us have dedicated time and energy to push forward initiatives, like…
Rejecting BDS, a movement who seeks the isolation of Israel from the international community though academic, cultural and economic boycotts
Reforming the EU aid, to the Palestinians by installing proper checks and balances in order to denounce instigation to violence and hate – and prevent corruption.
Highlighting the media bias when it comes to reporting about Israel.
Criticizing the political double standard that Israel so often is subjected to.
Our European heads of state have a lot to learn from the Israeli visionary leadership in the challenges we face today in the Middle East
An imperative reality based assessment of the JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear deal, aimed at curbing the well-documented Iranian nuclear ambitions,
Coming to terms with the fact that securing the region cannot be done without addressing the Iranian state-sponsored terrorism – and the oppressive nature of the regime that become so self-evident during this January protests.
Dear Friends, hopefully this luncheon will serve as an opportunity to discuss today’s challenges and possibilities for Israel.
We look forward to listen to you Mr Ambassador – welcome to this House.
Let me conclude by propose a toast for Israel, for seven decades of success, for a bright and peaceful future: Lechaim!