The Republic of Moldova is establishing a pro-Israel parliamentary caucus this week, in the latest sign of the strength of faith-based diplomacy around the globe.
The inauguration of the Moldovan Israel Allies Caucus brings to 53 the number of such parliamentary alliances with the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, in an ever-growing network whose staunch support for Israel is based on shared Judeo-Christian values.
“The establishment of the Israel Allies Caucus in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is another way to express our friendship with the State of Israel,” MP Ion Groza, chairman of the Moldova Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus, said in a statement.
“I believe that shared Judeo-Christian biblical values are an important basis upon which to strengthen relations with Israel and to combat antisemitism,” he added.
Groza also chairs Moldova’s delegation to the Council of Europe and is the vice president of his unicameral parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Moldovan caucus, which is expected to include five lawmakers from the ruling liberal and pro-European Party of Action and Solidarity who are committed to supporting the State of Israel, aim to assist in pro-Israel legislation and work to combat antisemitism and boycotts of Israel around the world, said Caucus Director and former MP Valeriu Ghileţchi.
“We know that Israel needs friends and allies around the world, especially in the Council of Europe, given the challenges Israel faces in the international arena,” Ghileţchi, an ordained Baptist pastor, told JNS in a telephone interview.
A ‘significant milestone’
“This is a significant milestone in the friendship and cooperation between our two nations,” Israeli Ambassador to Moldova Joel Lion wrote in a letter to be read at Thursday’s caucus launch at the Moldovan Parliament in Chișinău.
“As we look to the future, I am confident that this caucus will serve as a catalyst for enhanced bilateral relations between Israel and Moldova,” Lion added.
Moldova maintains an embassy in Tel Aviv and the ties between the two countries are warm, in part due to the connection with the members of the Moldovan Jewish community who immigrated to Israel, including former government minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party.
Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen traveled to Moldova, in the first such visit by the Jewish state’s top diplomat in 12 years. The trip came a week after Israeli and Moldovan officials initiated negotiations in Jerusalem toward a free trade agreement.
19 in Europe
“Moldova’s commitment to strengthen ties with Israel sets a positive example for other countries in Europe and the rest of the world,” said Leo van Doesburg, Israel Allies Foundation European executive director.
He noted that the Eastern European country will be the 19th European member of the organization’s global Israel alliance.
The Israel Allies Foundation has emerged as a powerhouse with its network of pro-Israel caucuses around the world. Over the last two decades, it has formed partnerships with caucuses that make up a network of 1,500 legislators working to promote Israel in their respective parliaments.
“These Moldovan parliamentarians are now connected to an international network who share their commitment to supporting Israel through our shared Judeo-Christian values,” said Josh Reinstein, president of the Israel Allies Foundation. “Together, we will work on translating the biblical support for Israel into real political action.”