Last week, I was privileged to speak to a group of European Jews at the Centre Communautaire laic Juif in Brussels, Belgium. I spoke about what can be learned from the successes of Begin, Sadat and Carter in the 1970s in terms of a one-state or two-state solution or whether neither option is possible today in the Israeli-Palestinian arena.
The Belgian Jewish community numbers less than 40,000, with half in Antwerp and the other half mostly in Brussels. For the most part, I found most Belgian Jews to be deeply attached to Israel, yet diverse in their support and intensity for Israel’s politics and about how their communities maintain their Jewishness. These Europeans were vibrant and eager to learn, and they were able to engage intellectually with passion. Their concerns run deep about insuring the safety and future identity of Jews in a rapidly changing Europe.