Daily Israel Report

European Friends of Israel Visit Knesset, Condemn Iran

380 members of the European Friends of Israel visited the Knesset as part of the EFI's Second Policy Conference.
By Elad Benari and Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 2/8/2011, 7:32 PM / Last Update: 2/9/2011, 2:16 AM

380 European parliamentarians, former presidents and prime ministers of European countries visited the Knesset on Monday. The visit was the highlight of the European Friends of Israel (EFI) Second Policy Conference.

During their visit to the Knesset the conference participants took an active part in eight meetings of the Knesset’s committees, including the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, and the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

Topics of discussion included the Iranian nuclear issue, the peace process between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, cooperation between Israel and the PA, and the immigration absorption process. Each European representative was able to choose which committee meeting to attend according to his domain of expertise and interest. 40 European representatives attended each committee meeting. The discussions were simultaneously translated into English, Hebrew, Russian and French.

“I am very happy that I am here,” Poland’s Jan Dziedziczak told Israel National News TV. “This is my second meeting of EFI. I was at the EFI meeting two years ago in Paris and now I’m in Jerusalem. We think about Israel and during this difficult time in the world and in the Middle East we want to show that we are with you.”

Dziedziczak noted that Jews first came to Poland more than 700 years ago, after being invited by the Polish king because of the anti-Semitism that was prevalent throughout Europe. “That’s why we have a 700-year history,” he said. “Unfortunately, during the Second World War Nazi Germany attacked Poland and killed millions of Polish Jews. Today the Jews are a minority in Poland but now we can come to you and show that we are together.”

One important achievement of the EFI visit was during the Foreign Workers Committee meeting headed by MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, when the European parliamentarians condemned Iran and called on the UN to handle Iran's incitement.

“We, parliamentarians and political leaders from the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, in the spirit of trust and cooperation: condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran that does not comply with its obligations to prevent genocide under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention,” the parliamentarians declared.

They added that they “condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran that does not comply with its obligations to punish those who directly and publicly incite to commit genocide under Article 4 and 5 of the Genocide Convention. We fully support any legal action taken to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from committing genocide.”