A gala event in Brussels next week will celebrate the creation of a new pro-Israel lobby in Europe, similar to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) operating in the United States.
The organization, “European Friends of Israel,” already has 150 members from the European Parliament. The body is backed financially by Jewish businessmen.
Lobby members decided to make their activities as a pan-European lobby official and to network Israel supporters among members of the European Parliament and in national parliaments where no such lobby currently exists. The organization also aims to strengthen ties between existing pro-Israel groups across the continent and to help to improve Israel’s image in Europe.
The opening event will host Knesset members from Israel. The Israeli Foreign Ministry gave its blessing to the formation of the organization and instructed its European embassies to assist and cooperate with it. Officials in the Foreign Ministry said that it is an important initiative in light of the current relationship between Israel and the European Union.
Michel Gur-Ari, head of the organization, said that the lobby intends to help transform Europe into an ally of Israel.