Esslingen-based Hrvoje Sirovina gives this insightful report from the annual summit of European Coalition for Israel which was held in the European Parliament in Brussels last week. Sirovina is a Bosnian-Croat who is raised in Germany, and leads a local and international church base in the Greater Stuttgart area.Tomas Sandell leading the special session on Israel in the European Parliament. To his left is Raya Kalenova of the European Jewish Congress
Jan-Aage Torp and I spent 1,5 great days of insight and fellowship in Brussels, participating at the annual summit of the European Coalition for Israel (ECI).
We gathered in the European Parliament with ECI founder Thomas Sandell (Finland). Several members of the European Parliament spoke as well as Israeli Ambassador David Walzer (Israeli Permanent Representative to the EU) and Rev Majed El Shafie (founder of "One Free World International“).
On the first day, we focused on "The Rising Antisemitism in Europe“. It was addressed by Bastiaan Belder (Member of European Parliament). He brought forth present day facts and spoke out a warning that we should not to get used to our Jewish fellow citizens living in fear in Europe.Samuel & Raquel Justo, apostolic leaders of Alicante, Spain were passionately involved in the deliberations
Raya Kalenova (Executive Vice-Chairman, European Jewish Congress) explained that the world hasn´t seen such a time of hatred towards the Jewish people since the WWII. History teaches us that every time when Jewish religious places were locations of terror attacks (like last week´s terror attack in a synagogue) worse things are on the way. Because of this, it is crucial for the Christian Community to stand strong with their support for Israel.
Thomas Sandell concluded the first part of the panel and criticized Europe's support of Palestinian, Iraqi and Syrian nations. Europe cannot stand with the militant groups in these nations indirectly supporting them, since todays’ greatest threat to freedom is radical and militant Islam.
As a second subject, the Arab Winter and its implications for the Middle East, Israel and Europe, were addressed:Jan-Aage Torp and Hrvoje Sirovina at the Israel meeting in Brussels
Rev Majed El Shafie (Founder of One Free World International and defender of human rights) shared his life story of persecution in Egypt after having converted to Christianity. The Western World was blinded into believing that there was an "Arab Spring“, bringing forth new life and hope, but the truth of the matter is, that it initiated a "deep and cold winter“. Even though it was right to remove those Arab dictators from their position, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood at the political and public scene brought about even worse circumstances. Democracy and positive ideology can´t be implemented overnight or by one "democratic“ election in an Arab nation. For a lasting, positive change to happen, the implementation of a positive ideology is required first, at the same time the financial support of ISIS and Hamas need to be stopped. New thought structures about religious freedom and free education for everyone need to be introduced, implemented and be carried out for at least one whole generation, supported by a rising voice of moderate muslims against militant and radical Islam.
David Walzer concluded and recalled that there is only one nation in the Middle East, which is a perfect example for a "Spring“ with democracy, freedom of religion, education and a positive ideology, i.e. the nation of Israel. Instead of fighting Israel we should support her and even take Israel as a model for an "Arab Spring“. She is a perfect example of how to realize, sustain and live out a positive ideology in a Middle Eastern nation.Jan-Aage Torp and Hrvoje Sirovina at the Israel meeting in Brussels
On the second day, there was some training for advocacy concerning Palestinian statehood:
Andrew Tucker and Thomas Sandell gave an introduction to the legal and historical aspects of the Palestinian Statehood issue. What do we need to understand in order to stand in todays’ public debate on Palestinian statehood? The legitimacy of the State of Israel is not just a biblical or religious issue, but even more so a political and historical one. There is no other people with such a history of permanent habitation on the territory of Israel like the Jews. Having this in mind, the intention however is not to drive all Palestinians out of the country, but to show that they have rights in Israel - just like in any other democratic nation in the West.
The Chairman of ECI, Harald Eckert, concluded with the spiritual dimension of advocacy and an introduction to the Global Prayer Call. We are called to pray for Israel and the nations and we have to pick up our priestly garments to be able to intercede for them. This is always the first step and without prayer we will definitely lose the battle. But it is very encouraging to see how many people are answering this call to prayer for Israel. The Global Prayer Call currently has a prayer network in over 70 countries in the world.
It was encouraging to see that these apostolic leaders are connecting and selflessly standing together for one cause. Instead of apostolic leaders fighting for their individual goals and being satisfied with their individual success, they are making an impact on an international and political level.
Looking forward to seeing the political mountain being apostolically lead and prophetically influenced!