EU Decision to Upgrade Relations with Israel is a 'Significant Step'
New York, NY, December 9, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed a decision by the Council of the European Union to upgrade relations with the State of Israel, calling it a "significant step in formalizing and deepening the strong ties between Europe and Israel." The unanimous vote by the Council, which is comprised of the 27 foreign ministers of the EU-member states, calls for the EU to "upgrade the level and intensity of its bilateral relations with Israel."
Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
The vote by the Council of the European Union (EU) is a significant step in formalizing and deepening the already strong ties between Europe and Israel. On a daily basis, Europeans and Israelis engage in considerable economic, scientific, and governmental and cultural interactions. The EU is Israel's biggest trading partner.
This decision reflects the reality of these everyday, practical exchanges, and formalizes this relationship to include, among other steps, regular meetings between European and Israeli ministers. It further reflects the benefit these enhanced ties will bring to both in terms of exchanges on counter-terrorism, science, technology and other initiatives.
We commend the European ministers for rebuffing significant pressure by Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and others to vote against this upgrade in relations.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.