A group of 20 parliamentarians of the Israel Allies Caucuses from 16 countries gathered in Jerusalem last week in a show of solidarity with Israel.

Parliamentarians from around the world, who attended the Israel Allies Foundation annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference during the festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), have called for an investigation of UNRWA following the discovery of weaponry in UN schools in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. They demanded accountability from the organization and spoke out against the persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East.

The lawmakers signed a resolution in which they declared that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must be reached through direct negotiations.

The parliamentarians came from countries around the world, including the UK, Canada, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Greece, Uruguay, Poland, South Africa, Italy, Suriname, Guatemala, Brazil, and Sweden, as well as from the European Parliament.

The five-day Feast of Tabernacles event, hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), included security briefings by a senior government minister as well as a keynote address by President Reuven Rivlin. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder pointed to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, which, he said, is being largely ignored in the international community.

Meeting the Facts on The Ground

The program included a one-day tour of Jerusalem and the outlying areas around the city Sunday and a visit to the Sodastream factory in Ma’ale Adumim, which equally employs Palestinian and Israeli workers.

The group toured Judea and Samaria, during which Pedro Galvez, a member of parliament in Guatemala, told Tazpit News Agency that the “trip around Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria was very helpful.”

“It’s my second time here,” he continued. “As a congressman, when Israel-related issues come up in our parliament, it is important for me to know and see the reality in Israel that is not shown in Latin American media. This way I can share with my colleagues what I’ve learned about Israelis and Palestinians working and living together.”

For David Burrowes, a Conservative Member of Parliament in the UK, the timing of the Israel trip was significant in view of the symbolic vote in the British Parliament to recognize a Palestinian state. “It’s one thing to discuss Mideast issues in the House of Commons in London and it’s another to see the reality on the ground,” he told Tazpit. “The real voices on the ground aren’t heard – the fact that there is peace and coexistence among the people living in Judea and Samaria. Just seeing Israelis and Palestinians working together in a factory was a reality check.”

Millions of Lovers of Zion

The Israel Allies Foundation is an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of more than 30 Israel Allies caucuses around the world in order to mobilize political support for Israel based on shared Judeo-Christian values. This network includes the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the European Union Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus.

“The hundreds of congressmen and parliamentarians around the world who are active in our network of caucuses represent millions of Israel supporters around the world,” said Rabbi Benny Elon, president of the Israel Allies Foundation. “While the anti-Israel crowd is often more raucous and vocal, it is imperative to know that there are millions of lovers of Zion whose voices can be channeled for political support for the State of Israel.”

Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel