Slovakia, Lithuania open pro-Israel parliamentary caucuses
May 30, 2016
Pro-Israel caucuses will be formed this week in the parliaments of Slovakia and Lithuania, the result of an initiative by the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, World Jewish Congress and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
The caucuses, which will be formed on Monday and Wednesday, will be the 34th and 35th such caucuses formed in countries around the world by the Israel Allies Foundation.
The Israeli delegation will include Shas MK Ya’acov Margi, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus director Josh Reinstein, World Jewish Congress-Israel chairman Shai Hermesh, World Jewish Congress-Israel director, Sam Grundwerg, Israel Allies Foundation European director Andras Patkai, retired IDF colonel Moshe Leshem, Ambassador to Slovakia Zvi Aviner Vapni and Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon.
The delegation will travel to Bratislava and Vilnius to meet with members of parliament and meet with Jewish and Christian leaders in Slovakia and Lithuania to mobilize support for Israel through faith-based diplomacy.
They will meet with high-ranking politicians including MP Marek Krajci, who is arranging the meetings for the delegation in the Slovak parliament. The chairmen of the Israel Allies Caucus in the Slovak parliament will be elected within the group in a democratic process. The Lithuanian Israel Allies Caucus will be chaired by MP Emanuelis Zingeris. MPs from both the opposition and coalition parties will take part in the meetings to further their nations’ relationship with the State of Israel.
“It is heartening to witness the support for Israel among parliamentarians in Slovakia and Lithuania – countries with a rich Jewish heritage which was nearly wiped out in the Holocaust,” said Hermesh, a former Kadima MK. “As anti-Semitism manifested in hatred of Israel continues to increase in Europe, the support from our friends in new member states of the EU becomes especially important.”
Reinstein added: “As Western European countries continue to turn their backs on the Jewish state, we see that Eastern European countries are more supportive than ever of the only democracy in the Middle East – Israel.”
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