Europe and Israel under a new European Commission
A new beginning, more of the same or downward spiral
Europe has elected and sworn in a new Commission, which took office on December 1st 2019 in challenging times. We have compiled portraits of two leading personalities, who will likely have a great say in the future shaping of EU-Israel relations: Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission and her Vice-President Josep Borrell, the new High Representative of the European Union. Furthermore, we include our statement on the recent European Court of Justice’s verdict, which stipulates obligatory labelling for Israeli produce originating from beyond the green line.
Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s former minister for family affairs and later minister of defense, finally made it to the top of Europe. On December 1st, on the 13th floor of the Berlaymont, she took over the helm of the European Commission from Jean-Claude Juncker. Von der Leyen, the Brussels-born aristocrat, trained medical doctor, mother of seven, and crown-princess of Angela Merkel’s grace, succeeded in finally reaching the European Parliament’s approval of her commission with the help of Polish and Hungarian Eurosceptic votes. The spotless image of the ever-smiling, multilingual showcase European with her We can do it!-attitude and a sixth sense for publicity and self-promotion was recently clouded by a still ongoing Parliamentary Commission Inquiry concerning a consulting issue during her stint at the German Ministry of Defense. The sometimes-unconventional Christian Democrat, known for her rather liberal views on marriage, has a proven and solid track-record on topics pertaining to Jewish or Israel-related issues.
Dear praying friends around the world!
I have been in Israel with a German prayer tour of almost 20 people for the last ten days. It has been a very substantial tour, praying for Israel and for German-Israel relations.
Israel preparing for elections
As most of you know, Israel is preparing for her next elections (September 17th) after those in April 2019 did not result in a functioning coalition and government. This is the first time in Israel’s history that this has happened. It is a time of uncertainty and the enemies of Israel are trying to take advantage of the situation. This is especially true for Iran and their allies, namely Hezbollah and Hamas. Please continue to pray for God’s hand over the land, its leadership and its security. Please pray for the plans and schemes of the enemies of Israel to be exposed and thwarted in time. Please pray for the elections - that a government will come forth which best serves the redemptive plans and promises of the Lord for Israel.
Dear praying friends around the world!
The first half of 2019 has come to a close. Israel is still in a “between-elections” season and needs our special prayer. The nations are facing several crisis situations around the world. But of course, every crisis carries the potential and the opportunity for repentance and for turning to the living God, the God of the Bible, the God of Israel.
GPC: Looking back at the first half of 2019
As for GPC, the first six months of this year have been extraordinary months. With my visit to East Africa and then to New York in April, the prayer conferences in San Remo, Italy, (May) and Jerusalem, Israel (June), my connection to the White House Council and the Latino Coalition for Israel, as well as the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast movement with their conferences in Jerusalem and Den Hague in the Netherlands, the prayer network has progressed to a new level. I am so grateful for how the Lord is building and strengthening the global praying remnant in general and specifically in the context of GPC! Hallelujah!
GPC: Looking forward to the second half of 2019
As for the second half of 2019, it is time for GPC to consolidate this network on several levels: Prayer, leadership and consultation, legal and financial structure, communication and fundraising. Please pray for me and the core leadership / advisory group to find wisdom, clarity and unity regarding these next steps.
Dear praying Friends,
I would like to share this videoclip with Rick Ridings with you as the basis for our First Friday prayer this month. It was recorded directly in Jerusalem by Alpha & Omega TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMYhA4_Ctl4
Rick Ridings and I will be the main moderators for the upcoming GPC Conference in Jerusalem. I would like to formally invite you to this conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50JmtoEiTKE
In light of the upcoming European Union elections, please prayerfully consider my comments presented below regarding prayer for europe!
Prayer for Europe – before the upcoming European Union (EU) elections
Theodor Heuss, the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, is credited with the following famous saying: “Europe is built on three hills: the Acropolis, Golgotha and the Capitol”, in other words, Greek humanistic philosophy, Biblical Christianity and the Roman legal system. Historically speaking, there is a lot of truth to that statement. Spiritually speaking, it points out Europe’s subtle but significant tectonic divide: Hellenism and humanism on the one hand and the Judeo-Christian view of God, man and the world on the other. These are ultimately in opposition to one another. As the prophet Zechariah clearly states in Chapter 9, verse 13b: “I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.“