Geneva, January 21st, 2020 – European Coalition for Israel will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by launching a new initiative to fight anti-Semitism; the International Coalition for Israel. The new group will link activities based outside of Europe to a global entity in Geneva, rather than to the capital of the European Union in Brussels.
“This is an organic development to adapt our current structure to better reflect the realities on the ground”, said ECI chairman of the board, Tor G Gull. As of 2010 ECI has travelled and worked on all continents of the world to convey the message of the importance of combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel. “Creating an umbrella organization located in Geneva, the UN Headquarters in Europe, will better reflect this global identity while ECI will continue to exist in its current form”, he clarified.
The flagship project of the new initiative will be #ChurchesAgainstAntisemitism, a new and unique project to mobilize churches from across the world to help combat anti-Semitism and foster Jewish life in their own nations and communities.
Remembrance events to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps in 1945 have been important milestones in the path of the development of the European Coalition for Israel. At the 60th anniversary, in 2005, ECI initiated and hosted the first ever Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels, which has since become an official annual EU event under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament. Just last year a time of remembrance was also observed during the official plenary session of the European Parliament and this will take place again this year.
“This is but one example of how a timely and strategic initiative can develop and leave a mark on the European Union as a whole”, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said. “Making sure that the victims of the Holocaust are properly remembered and honoured in the heart of the European Union and that all members of the European Parliament are reminded at least once a year of the deadly virus of anti-Semitism is a significant achievement”, he noted.
On the 70th anniversary ECI hosted a classical concert by the Color Ensemble in the Tempel Synagogue in Krakow, just one hour away from the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The concert was organized together with the Jewish community of Krakow and the speakers included David Harris of the American Jewish Committee and Minister Tim Uppal from the Canadian government.
ECI will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a commemoration event in Geneva on Sunday 26th January. On Monday, 27th January, ECI will participate in the official UN Holocaust Remembrance ceremony at the UN headquarters in Geneva. The UN Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 in November 2005.