Vladimir Sloutsker - The Bridge Builder
Between Jews and EU
The overview of Vladimir Sloutsker’s ambitions and the future cooperation of Israel and the diaspora with Europe
When it comes to the protection and standing up for Israel’s interests, Vladimir Sloutsker, the president of the Israel-Jewish Congress, has often done things the hard way. He said that his voice was very rare but it would have been strange for him not to speak up for Israel, as he always felt very Jewish in Soviet times.
But after the country’s triumph in the 1967 War, the situation has changed drastically. It generated respect and the pride of the nation.
In 2011 the Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC) was almost immediately set up. It was created to be a “bridge” between Israeli government officials, ministries and Jewish communities in Europe. This goal is something that Vladimir Sloutsker sees as more urgent than ever in an age of rising delegitimization of the Jewish state and anti-Semitism.
The situation was strange as Israel was a member of many non-governmental organizations, but there was no special interface between Israeli bodies and European Jewish communities. So IJC sought to be their address in Israel. In 2013, IJC made a groundbreaking dialogue bringing together Israeli officials and American and European Jewish leaders. Also, their young ambassadors’ program pushed young Israelis to support their European counterparts. Sloutsker is passionate to unite the diaspora of Jews worldwide.
He is sure that all Jews living in Israel is “unreasonable” but at the same time, he thinks that Jews would start to hide their identity if Israel didn’t exist. That’s why there is a mutual responsibility to create a worldwide partnership.
Vladimir Sloutsker backed up his theory with practical steps. He campaigned to make a change in Israel’s citizenship laws. Israel is essential to Jewish identity and anyone who can prove a close relationship to it should be granted with the citizenship. So he thinks if Jews want to get Israeli citizenship, regardless of where they are living, they should to be able to do that.
The current statistics are showing that young people are feeling less connected to Israel than their parents or grandparents and that is a rising problem. This trend occurred due to the lack of communication between Israel and the diaspora.
Building strong joined Jewish communities would also help in the combat anti-Semitism. We need all to speak out and help every person regardless of their nationality and faith, feel free. Jewish journalists and lawyers should also work together more on a global level. All can be concluded in Sloutsker’s mantra - “One for all, all for one.”
You don’t have to get to know the president of the Israel-Jewish Congress to understand how much he cares and how he defends Israel. Finding ways to deal with anti-Semitism and hatred is top in his list of priorities.
Also, Sloutsker thinks that British Jewry is one of the best-organized communities in the world. He likes the spirit and the fact that the community is strong and integrated into every part of life. Besides, he expressed hopes that Brexit would provide an opportunity for intelligence ties to fight terror and ever stronger trade.
Sloutsker called all governments in the world to take a similar position. Rising Jew-hatred is one of the greatest threats both to Jewish life and the future of the European Union. He is also warning that no community is immune and what we see know can touch any nation worldwide. Therefore, we must fight against anti-Semitism of all forms, including modern-day protests and manifestations.
View on calls to ban Hezbollah
Sloutsker thinks that it is for sure a terror organization. There’s no division between the political and military and every consequence of that must follow. Politicians are the head and militaries are the hands. Also, he is concerned about Her Majesty’s Opposition.
Back to Israel and he thinks the decision to recognize Jerusalem as her capital highlights the fact the state is respected, powerful and that it is a member of the international community. Jerusalem is equal to all others – and that is something to be proud of.
The division of society is the most pressing issue for the country. This is the biggest threat. In America, there is a very apparent information policy aimed at overcoming national, racial and religious conflict. Without such a wise policy we would most likely see an even more divided society. Israel must follow this way and make the change across education, entertainment, and communications to explain existing policy. The president of the Israel-Jewish Congress remains secure that Israel will continue to flourish as a strong and proud Jewish State.