A select group of Russian parliament members will soon be urging their colleagues to say “da” to Israel after a delegation of Israelis took steps to initiate the formation of a pro-Israel caucus in the Duma in meetings last week in Moscow.
The delegation from the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) and the World Jewish Congress met with influential Christian leaders from across Russia. Talks focused on garnering support for the State of Israel and forming a Russian Israel Allies Caucus in the Duma, which is the Russian parliament’s lower house.
KCAC co-chairman MKs David Rotem (Likud Beytenu) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid), KCAC director Josh Reinstein and former MK Shai Hermesh, who is WJC-Israel’s chairman, worked with the organizers of the caucus, who will soon select its members. A formal request for the caucus’s formation will be issued this week.
“Russia is an integral player in the Middle East and has the power to influence the nations that threaten Israel,” Reinstein said.
“The formation of a Russian Israel Allies Caucus will be an important addition to the 20 pro-Israel caucuses around the world run by the Israel Allies Foundation.
The Israeli delegation was welcomed with a large Christian celebration of Israel event hosted by Senior Pastor Mats Ola Ishoel of the Word of Life Church that was attended by thousands of Russian Christians. Jewish and Christian leaders urged a closer bond between Israel and Russia at the event, which celebrated the 65th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
“The World Jewish Congress is committed to strengthening ties between Christians around the world who share our commitment to Israel and defend it against unfair attacks in their home countries,” Hermesh said at the event.
“Our visit to Moscow has strengthened the bond between our people, and we were able to tell the Christians in Russia that Israel will help protect their communities and holy places in the Middle East,” he said.
Speeches at the event were interspersed with a celebration of Israeli culture, showcasing Israeli song and dance. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem helped organize the event, which ended with a shared blessing for the State of Israel.
The WJC is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations. The KCAC – which consists of 17 MKs from six political parties across the political spectrum – aims to open formal and direct lines of communication between Knesset members and Christian leaders, organizations and political representatives around the world.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Pro-Israel-caucus-forming-in-Russian-parliament-314341