EU official Mattia Zilli sent a letter of apology to United with Israel staff writer Atara Beck in response to her report on his crude email to the organization’s rabbinic director.

EU Israel

Rabbi Ari Enkin, rabbinic director, United with Israel

Earlier this week, United with Israel reported that Rabbi Ari Enkin, UWI rabbinic director, received an email expressing anti-Israel sentiments from an employee at the European Commission, which is the EU’s executive body.

UWI writer Atara Beck, before publishing the story on the UWI website on Tuesday, contacted the Economic Commission, asking for comment. A senior spokesperson said that the matter would be taken seriously.

On Wednesday morning, the UWI writer received a personal letter of apology through email from Mattia Zilli, the project officer at the European Commission who had sent the vulgar email, saying:

“Please believe that I have absolutely no feelings against Israel, its culture, language (which I actually find very beautiful), the religion or anything that Israel could ever represent.”

Zilli had tried unsubscribing to the UWI newsletter, he explained, and had “no idea why it failed.”

UWI checked its mailing system and verified that the “unsubscribe” feature was in working order.

Nevertheless, it appears that Zilli had acted out of sheer frustration and he apologized profusely, claiming Jewish lineage and admiration for Israel.

“I would like to sincerely apologize towards you and anyone who may have felt hurt by my email,” he stated in the letter.

‘I Have Nothing Against Israel. Actually all the Contrary’

“Apart of having had excellent history lessons and knowing perfectly what Israel and the Jewish have been going through in the past and are living at present, having myself Jewish origins from my maternal great grandparents and even a menorah standing in my living room (believe it or not), having spent last year a wonderful 11 days’ vacation in Israel, having met some old and some new friends there with which I plan going on holidays this summer if my workload allows,” he wrote.

“I have nothing against Israel. Actually all the contrary.

“My harsh, impulsive and of course not thoughtful reaction, does first of all not represent in anyway the opinion of my employers, the one of any of my colleagues or even of any of my friends and also last but not least not mine. It was just a stupid impulsive reaction under a state of work stress which of course should not have happened.”

Rabbi Enkin, initially offended by the hateful words in the original email, was happy to hear the apology. The Torah teaches that we all make mistakes that can be rectified, the rabbi said, adding that he would be pleased to meet Zilli on his next trip to the Holy Land.

“Israel’s role is to be a light unto the nations,” the rabbi noted, “and there is no better way than to extend an olive branch to those who seek reconciliation.”

United with Israel, an advocacy organization, is the world’s largest pro-Israel community, with more than two million followers worldwide and growing quickly.

By United with Israel Staff