RAMAT GAN - The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) unanimously elected Mikhael Mirilashvili as its new president on Monday, at the EAJC’s General Council Session in Ramat Gan, Israel. Thirty-two General Assembly members from 16 Eastern European, post-Soviet, Asian and Pacific countries took part in the meeting.
Mirilashvili, a medical doctor and successful industrialist, replaced the Viennese Julius Meinl, another prominent businessman, who was elected in 2014.
“Mutual guarantee is a key term for every Jewish public organization, including us - the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. We are obliged to support our communities everywhere and always,” Mirilashvili said in his first address as EAJC president.
“We must strive to ensure that we are strong and successful, active and socially responsible, and respected. To this end, each community of the Diaspora must do good not only for its own, but for all others as well. It is in the interest of the Jewish people to have a strong and prosperous Diaspora throughout the world, and this should be our mission.
Jewish communities in the Diaspora should flourish, both economically and spiritually. After all, without a spiritual component, material prosperity will be caused only by envy and hatred. In addition, the Jewish population in the Diaspora is subject to demographic and social changes, even to the point that some communities may disappear within one generation.
Therefore, we need to strengthen the connection of the Diaspora with Israel and help to reduce assimilation, educating the younger generation, based on the values and traditions of the Jewish people. To this end, we will continue to provide the necessary assistance to the institutions of culture, education and science, whose activities are connected with the study, dissemination and development of Jewish culture.”
In his address, Mirilashvili also discussed the terrorist attack on Friday night that took the lives of three members of the Solomon family in the settlement of Halasmish. He also touched anti-Semitism in Western Europe and the attempts to boycott Israel, which he said were rife with anti-Semitism. In the past, anti-Semites boycotted Jews, and today they, the activists of the BDS movement, are calling for a boycott of the Jewish state,” he said. “Their goal is clear - the delegitimization of the right of the very existence of Israel. What is it, if not the modern manifestation of anti-Semitism? It's time to resist. It's time to delegitimize the delegitimizers. It's time to rebuff the anti-Semites.”
He also slammed the UN resolutions against Israel, including the recent UNESCO decision to declare the Tomb of the Patriarchs an endangered Palestinian state, saying: “In this way, UNESCO actually supports terror.”
Mirilashvili also thanked the World Jewish Congress for its support and cooperation.
Following Mirilashvili’s election, a congratulatory message was read out on behalf of World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, who stated that the constituent members of the EAJC had “chosen wisely.”
“We are sure that [Mirilashvili] will continue his long record of leadership in the Jewish world and we wish every success in this new position.”