Washington DC newWashington D.C, February 11th, 2019 – The European Coalition for Israel met with US government officials in Washington D.C. ahead of this week’s Polish-US sponsored Warsaw summit meeting to stress the need to work together in order to fight international terrorism and promote peace and stability in the Middle East. The international conference marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran which overthrew the Iranian Shah and introduced a repressive Islamic regime in Teheran. Forty years on, the Islamic regime continues to spread terror and instability in the whole of the Middle East, ignoring the basic needs and rights of its own population.

“The West failed the Iranian people by withholding support for the democratic forces, the so-called Green movement, which rose up in Iran in 2009, while at the same time enthusiastically praising the so-called Arab spring. As protests against the repressive regime continue in Iran, it is high time for the international community to come together to support freedom and human rights for the Iranian people as an integral part of its efforts to bring stability and security to the Middle East”, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said.

ECI has expressed grave concern over the US announcement to withdraw its troops from Syria and Afghanistan by April, despite the security risks this poses for the religious and ethnic minorities in the region who courageously fought side by side with the international coalition in order to liberate the region from the terror of ISIS.

“The international community must maintain solidarity with these vulnerable groups who paid a high price in standing up against ISIS. Leaving Syria prematurely will create a dangerous security vacuum in the region which will allow the Iranian regime to increase its presence and poses an existential threat to the State of Israel. The Kurds, Christians and Yazidis have no other alternative but to stay on in the region even though still surrounded by deadly enemies. In order to prevent a new humanitarian crisis, the West needs to immediately set up a security zone to ensure that these minorities can be properly protected. If no action is taken, many believe that a new wave of ethnic cleansing could be imminent”, Sandell added.

The world needs a US administration which is committed to fighting international terrorism with boots on the ground and which helps to combat the rise of anti-Semitism which has now reached a new peak in Europe. Last week the newly elected Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a phone conversation with UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, where they committed to working together on their progressive political agenda. Both leaders have been accused of making anti-Semitic statements which have caused great consternation among the Jewish communities.

ECI also notes with grave concern that anti-Semitic sentiments are now emerging within the political mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic. Under these circumstances we welcome the recent appointment of Elan Carr as the new US Envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.

The US and the EU still share a common cause, both domestically and internationally, to stand up against the forces of hatred, extremism and totalitarianism. This is why the upcoming Warsaw summit to promote peace and security in the Middle East is both timely and extremely important.

The ECI delegation in Washington, comprising Tomas Sandell, Gregory Lafitte, Emilie Noteboom and Faith Collins, also participated in the Congressional Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, February 7th.