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European Leadership Network
FoundedOctober 22, 2007; 16 years ago (2007-10-22).[1]
PurposeTo "strengthen relations between Europe and Israel, based on shared democratic values and strategic interests"

The European Leadership Network (ELNET) is a non-governmental organization that promotes links between Europe and Israel.[2][3][4]

ELNET was created in 2007 as a European pro-Israel advocacy group, to assist European partners in becoming more active politically, in order to counter "widespread criticism of Israel in Europe".[5]

ELNET is registered in Belgium (responsible for the EU & NATO), France, Germany, Poland, the UK and Israel. The organization includes an additional US-based entity, Friends of ELNET (FELNET), whose sole role is fundraising for the entire network.

Aims and activities[edit]

ELNET is a non-partisan organization that works to improve strategic relations between Israel and European countries. ELNET is active and has a presence in Germany, France, Spain, and Poland, as well as an office in Brussels.

The organization has interacted with European officials on numerous occasions:

"ELNET has hosted more than 50 European delegations of parliament members, top government officials, and other European policy leaders to Israel. ELNET has also held more than 20 strategic dialogues in Europe and has engaged more than 500 participants in its effort to enhance European-Israeli understanding and cooperation"[6]

ELNET's role has been defined as "encouraging Jewish political activism".[7]

History and organization[edit]

ELNET was founded in 2007, first in Brussels, and later in other European capitals – Madrid, Spain (2008), Paris, France (2010), Berlin, Germany (2013), Warsaw, Poland (2015), and London, United Kingdom (2020). ELNET is also registered in Israel (2010). The Forum for Strategic Dialogue (2013) is an offspring of ELNET.

The American entity, Friends of ELNET (FELNET), was co-founded and is chaired by Larry Hochberg, a co-founder of Children's Bargain Town USA, a small chain of toy stores that operated in Chicago.[8][9] Its president is David Siegel.[10] In 2017, it hosted Manuel Valls, a former French Prime Minister, in order to raise the awareness about the importance of France-Israel relations.[11]

ELNET operates in Europe using means and mechanisms similar to those used by AIPAC in the United States.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "European Lay-Leadership Network" (PDF). Federal Public Justice Service, Belgium. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  2. ^ Rose, David (12 January 2024). "Speak to Israelis and you'll understand why no-one is talking about two states". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  3. ^ "ELNET plans initiative to expose Hamas crimes against humanity". The Jerusalem Post. 21 November 2023. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  4. ^ "Our Mission". ELNET. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  5. ^ Guttman, Nathan (12 June 2008). "New European Pro-Israel Group Aims for Low Profile". The Forward. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  6. ^ Dain Sharon, Alina (17 November 2015). "Non-Partisan Network Works to Bolster Europe-Israel Bonds". Algemeiner Journal. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  7. ^ Eizenstat, Ambassador Stuart E. (2012). The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-1442216280.
  8. ^ "Leadership: Larry Hochberg". ELNET. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Sportmart, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  10. ^ Rosenbaum, Alan (9 July 2023). "Israel, Europe need to proactively face similar strategic challenges – ELNET official". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  11. ^ Torok, Ryan (14 December 2017). "Moving & Shaking: Friends of ELNET, StandWithUs and More". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 24 December 2023.