A European MP delegation and an American Super Tuesday

ELNET's 21st MP Delegation to Israel in March 2024

This past week, two events took place – one in Israel, one in the US – both with far-reaching consequences for Europe.

ELNET’s most recent delegation to Israel and America’s 2024 Super Tuesday share a lot in common. They are leading indicators that global instability is likely to continue, and further alignment between Europe and Israel will be essential for their respective defense and security needs.

This was ELNET’s  21st delegation to Israel since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel’s southern border on Oct. 7th. In the past five months, ELNET has guided hundreds of European Members of Parliament and policy influencers from more than 22 nations to the front lines to see the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas terrorists aided by hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians who supported Hamas that day.

The legislators from France, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met with Israeli political, policy, and military leaders to address shared concerns about rising threats from China, Russia and Iran. French and German delegations met with Israeli technologists from industries of critical importance to their countries; MPs from the Baltic States met with Israel Aerospace Industries to discuss missile defense.

Each nation has a different objective for embarking on its diplomatic journey to Israel, but the journeys all stem from the same core concerns: rising global insecurity driven by the axis of authoritarians, domestic concerns about increasing Islamist threats, the dramatic increase of antisemitism in Western European countries, and a belief that Europe may no longer be able to rely on unconditional support from the United States.

The White House’s pressure on the Israeli Government’s pursuit of its war against Hamas and the U.S. Congress’s inability to construct a sound strategy to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia have only stoked fears in Israel and Europe of U.S. abandonment, particularly in countries like Estonia and Latvia.

Likewise, some members of the Republican Party have heightened European concerns with isolationist talk suggesting it sees little purpose in supporting Ukraine’s battle against Russia, leaving Eastern Europeans to fear that what happens in Ukraine will not stay in Ukraine.

Those concerns were reinforced when former President Trump stated publicly during a campaign speech in South Carolina that he told a representative from a NATO country that he would not support a NATO country that in his estimation was delinquent in its financial commitment. Most concerning, he said that he would encourage Russia to go after those who were not fulfilling their obligations.

Rihards Kols, Latvia’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a powerful Israel ally, has urged U.S. leadership to maintain Ukrainian support. Kohls stated what we all know, “Nothing provokes authoritarian regimes more than the hesitance of free people.”

The success of ELNET’s delegations and the concerns about the results from Super Tuesday are leading indicators that strong Israel-Europe relationships in defense, energy, technology, national security, agriculture, and supply chain security are essential to protecting the Western alliance.

Perhaps most importantly, growing participation by European MPs on ELNET’s delegations and the results from Super Tuesday highlight concerns that neither Israel nor Europe can rely so heavily upon the United States for their defense and security needs.

A small group of pro-Israel activists from the U.S. and France founded ELNET 15 years ago on the prescient recognition that Europe would become an essential ally for Israel. I could not be prouder of our work as our offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the U.K., and Israel have helped Israel and Europe identify and align their shared strategic interests, all of which are based on shared democratic values.

ELNET is leading the way to strengthen what we call the triad for the 21st century – a strategic partnership between Israel, Europe, and the United States – that will counter global threats to the Western alliance.

About the Author
Larry Hochberg is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of ELNET, the most influential pro-Israel advocacy organization in Europe. Mr. Hochberg previously served as National Chairman of the Friends of the IDF, National Officer of AIPAC, and held national leadership positions with the UJC and UJA
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