Twenty-four parliamentarians from around the world attended the eighth annual Chairman’s Conference of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) this week in Jerusalem.
The March 20-22 conference, held in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) at the King David Hotel, was the largest political conference to take place in Israel since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Josh Reinstein, President of the Israel Allies Foundation, explains that this year’s conference was a huge success.
“We finally got to have our Chairman's Conference after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus and it's great to see members of parliament from all over the world,” Reinstein tells Israel National News - Arutz Sheva. “The Israel Allies Foundation coordinates activities of 50 Israel Allies caucuses and countries around the world – over 1,200 legislators. [During the conference we had] 24 of the chairmen of those caucuses here for a policy conference in Jerusalem.”
The conference included the presentation of a resolution supporting Israeli construction in all of Jerusalem.
“It's very important to the members of the Israel Allies Foundation that it's known that we support building in Jerusalem, in all of Jerusalem, that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the state of Israel, that we have complete sovereignty over the capital of of the State, and that we have the right to build anywhere that we would like to without any pressure from outside forces,” he says.
There was also a resolution presented to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) about antisemitism.
“The resolution was a combination of work between the Israel Allies Foundation and the Combat Antisemitism Movement,” he says. “We put together a resolution calling on countries not just to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism but also to implement it. The big problem is that there's a lot of countries that have adopted and they said, ‘Okay, anti-Zionism is antisemitism. But what does that mean? How do you implement that?’ That's what a lot of our policy conference was about. How do we take the next step in that battle?”
Reinstein comments that while it sometimes seems like the whole world is against Israel, there is more support out there than it might seem.
“I think the story isn't getting out,” he explains. “We have incredible successes over the last five years. Embassies moving into Jerusalem from the United States, from Honduras, from Guatemala, and soon from Malawi. Those are faith-based initiatives. Anti-BDS legislation, antisemitism legislation that we've seen around America – that started as a church movement. We have observer status in Africa for the first time in decades and that's because of Christian heads of state who have fought for Israel, and I can tell you that faith-based diplomacy is the most important weapon we have in our diplomatic arsenal today and we are winning the battle on many fronts.”