A B O U T U S
The Understanding Israel Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the "Organization") is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) in Trinidad & Tobago, incorporated on May 4th, 2023. The Organization is politically unaligned & nonpartisan, and religiously pluralistic.
The Organization serves as the only pro-Israel think tank and Israel advocacy NGO in Trinidad & Tobago, seeking to strengthen and deepen the ties between the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and the State of Israel, at the governmental, corporate, academic, research, societal, cultural, tourism and individual levels by structuring the pro-Israel grassroot support in Trinidad & Tobago into one voice which will be able to influence the government of Trinidad & Tobago to re-think and re-shape its current relations with Israel.
The base of the pro-Israel grassroot support is expected to come largely from the estimated 300,000+ evangelical voices in the country, which accounts for roughly 23% of the Trinidad & Tobago citizenry. The Organization seeks to structure these voices into a cohesive voting bloc, which will be leveraged to entice both the sitting government and current opposition parties into producing a foreign affairs policy manifesto which will reflect the aims and goals of the organization and adopting said foreign affairs policy into Trinidad & Tobago's foreign affairs approach. Members will be informed of the political inroads and of the parties which are supportive of and directly moving towards forging closer ties with Israel as it aligns with the aims and objectives of the Organization. The efficacy of this would be demonstrated in the 2025 General Elections in Trinidad & Tobago and whether either (or both) political party(ies) would respond to the Organization, its aim and objectives, and its membership as a voting bloc in a favorable way.
The long-term strategic goal is to deepen ties between the countries to such an extent that relations would: 1. necessitate a Trinidadian embassy be established in Israel; and, 2. vice versa, necessitate the establishment of an Israeli embassy in Trinidad. Ideally, the establishment of a Trinidad & Tobago embassy in Israel would be located in Jerusalem, as a long-term objective of the Organization is to have the government of Trinidad & Tobago recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In the meantime, the Organization will work as the de-facto embassy in Trinidad, supporting and promoting the interests of both countries, and working with the non-resident Israeli ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago, based in Panama. The Organization will also work to create credible and meaningful people-to-people opportunities for citizens of both countries.
Alongside this stated end-goal, the Organization seeks to educate about Israel, Zionism and Israeli history through programs, dialogue, contacts with Israel and Jewish groups, to: 1. strengthen the pro-Israel identities of the already existing pro-Israel community; 2. demystify Israel’s position, open dialogue and reach a wider audience of Trinidadians who are not naturally pro-Israel or are neutral when it comes to Israel. The Organization will also work to monitor and combat anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitic attitudes in Trinidad & Tobago society.
At the governmental level, it is hoped that the Organization's membership can lobby the Trinidad & Tobago to take a more pro-Israel stance at world bodies. Concurrently, the Organization will adopt a bottom-up approach in connecting the civilian populations in both countries, at the individual, business, and industry levels in order to: open up trade, investment and business opportunities; the exchange of academic opportunities (including scholarship programs for Trinidadians to Israel, and, to a lesser extent, for Israelis to Trinidad & Tobago); advance relationships between the academic research institutions in the two countries; establish stronger security relations; increase the flow of Israeli technology, agricultural expertise, water management, defense capabilities, medical research and innovation; expand tourism between the two countries; open up possibilities for Trinidadians to work in Israel's burgeoning oil & gas industry; and deepen the flow of cross-religious, inter-faith and cross-cultural opportunities for Trinidadians and Israelis.