ECI completes first solidarity visit to Israel after October 7

Jerusalem Nov 2023

Jerusalem Nov 2023Jerusalem, November 23, 2023 – European Coalition for Israel has completed its first solidarity visit to Israel after the deadly terrorist attack on October 7 which left more than 1200 people dead and resulted in the abduction of some 240 hostages.

“It is in times like these, when the Jewish people have experienced their deadliest pogrom after the Shoah and antisemitism reaches new peaks, that our friendship is put to the test”, said ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell who was joined in Israel by ECI’s Communications officer Rebeka Goba.

On Monday evening an internal working meeting in Tel Aviv was interrupted by a missile barrage from Gaza as Sandell experienced first-hand what is by now a daily occurrence all around Israel when civilians have to run to the nearest bomb shelter to protect themselves from rocket attacks from Hamas. Unlike in Tel Aviv, where civilians have one and a half minute to seek shelter, at the border of Gaza this time is only fifteen seconds.
“Living under constant fear of new attacks while still processing the horrors of October 7 has caused severe trauma and even new forms of skin diseases and loss of hair among children”, explained one Israeli.

At the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Tuesday Deputy Director General Daniel Meron expressed his appreciation of the ECI solidarity visit as he shared how a growing number of government leaders have already visited Israel after the attack in similar expressions of solidarity and support. The ECI visit coincided with a solidarity mission by Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs who also met privately with ECI’s Communications officer and fellow Latvian Rebeka Goba to discuss Israeli-Latvian relations.

On Tuesday ECI met with Yaakov Hagoel, the Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, as they discussed the importance both to the international community and fellow Israelis, to understand the legal foundation of the State of Israel, as codified under international law at the International Peace Conference in San Remo in 1920.
In their discussion they noted, “As anti-Israelism and antisemitism reach new heights we have to debunk the various myths and misinformation about the creation of the Jewish state which are spreading around the world at the moment.” They agreed that this misinformation can only be addressed with historical facts.

In a TV interview with Chris Mitchell from CBN Sandell summed up the message of the solidarity visit by saying that the international community, including the European Union, has a huge responsibility in making sure that we no longer tolerate hate education and incitement to violence in the Palestinian territories. “What begins with words of hatred, may one day again explode in the most violent acts of terror, similar to what we saw on October 7, unless we take action now”, he warned.

In times like these it is important to remember the words of the US President John F. Kennedy who said, “Peace does not rest in charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people.”

The solidarity visit came to a close on Wednesday when Sandell and Goba returned to Europe.


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