(JNS) With several European parliamentarians expressing opposition to Israel’s planned application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, lawmakers from Latin America, Europe and Africa signed a statement in support for sovereignty.
While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advocated against the plan on Wednesday, saying that it violates international law, hundreds of members of parliament from 20 countries expressed their “full support” for the State of Israel, affirming its biblical and legal right to sovereignty to the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.
“We affirm that the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria have been a key part of the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation for centuries,” stated the letter, noting that Israel “ensures free access for all religions to the important biblical sites in Judea and Samaria.”
The signatories, leaders of the Israel Allies Caucuses faith-based diplomacy organization, further maintained, “Israel applying Israeli civil law to already existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is appropriate and recognizes the democratic wishes of those communities.”
The letter related that the application of sovereignty has the potential to bring the possibility for peace and prosperity closer to the region. “Applying Israeli law to already existing Jewish communities in Israel can be part of a realistic regional peace plan which recognizes current realities,” it said.
Among the signatories were Israel Allies Caucus chairpersons from the European Union, Slovakia, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Wales, Finland, Madagascar, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and Suriname—each representing 10 to 50 members of parliament per caucus.
“Three hundred parliamentarians around the world are standing with Israel and are hopeful that Netanyahu will declare sovereignty over the next couple of weeks,” Josh Reinstein, president of the Israel Allies Foundation, told JNS. “Hundreds of thousands of Christians are standing with Israel and with God’s covenant with Israel.”
“There is a groundswell of support for sovereignty,” he continued, “but we are not seeing this reflected properly in the media.”
“For Bible-believing Christians, communities like Beit El, Shiloh and Hebron have a special meaning—much more so than Tel Aviv or Haifa,” he explained.
Historic allies at important moments in history
Upon signing the letter, several Members of Parliament voiced their concern for Israel, in addition to strengthening bilateral relationships.
Guatemalan Congressman Fidel Reyes Lee stated, “We want to send a message of support to the State of Israel from the Guatemalan Congress regarding the application of Israeli civil law to already existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Guatemala has always been on the side of the Jewish people and the State of Israel at the most important moments in its history, and here we are from the Guatemalan Congress reiterating our unconditional support for the State of Israel.”
Colombian MP Edgar Palacio Mizrahi sent a similar message of support, telling JNS, “this land historically belongs to Israel according to the international law and the Israeli Law of 1948. We want to send this message of support in this crucial moment and thank Israel for guaranteeing access to the important biblical sites in Judea and Samaria for people of all faiths.”
“It is heartwarming seeing the unconditional support to Israel from Latin American countries like Guatemala and Colombia,” Leopoldo Martínez, Israel Allies Foundation Latin America director and former Congressman in Venezuela, told JNS. “They have been historic allies of Israel in the most important moments of Israeli history. We want to replicate this support for Israel throughout other Latin American countries and take existing support to another level. We are committed to reinforce this unconditional support to Israel through the whole region.”
Clearly, noted Reinstein, “Israeli sovereignty is not just an American phenomenon.”
When the term “annexation” is used instead of “sovereignty,” he explained, people assume that Israel is “taking someone else’s land.” However, “Israel is not taking other people’s land. The plan simply applies Israeli civil rule in Jewish communities where there was previously Israeli military law.”
He continued, saying “this narrative of occupation has been pushed in the international media for decades now. They say West Bank instead of Judea and Samaria, settlements instead of communities, and annexation instead of sovereignty. They try to make it sound we are taking someone’s land when that is not the case.”
Further, he related, “there are people who believe that Israel is the occupier of land owned by another people, including Jerusalem, and that we are annexing it. But most can understand that this is a reasonable solution for these areas, and people are excited about it because it rectifies an injustice.”
“The Israeli government and its people need to do what’s best for them,” said Reinstein, “and deal with any fallout later.”