Minister of Religious Services Matan Kahana, Co-Chairs of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) MKs Yuli Edelstein and Sharren Haskel and KCAC member MK Gila Gamliel will participate in a conference on Israel together with Members of the European parliament. This annual event is organized by the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), in cooperation with the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF). This year’s program will focus on Israel’s standing according to international law and taking a look at the EU’s commitment to a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The event, titled “The Road to Peace” will include a presentation by Andrew Tucker, author of the book “Israel on Trial”, and director of thinc., a think tank, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, which investigates the international and juridical status of Israel and its disputed areas. “The EU demands Israel accept the establishment of a Palestinian state run by the PA/PLO and based on the so-called 1967 borders. The EU claims this “Two State” policy is supported by international law. Our inter-disciplinary report reviews the genesis and development of this policy over four decades, analyses the legal issues, and examines the wider, regional context. We conclude that the EU’s policies are politically-driven, and highly contentious from a legal perspective. International law does not mandate the specific solution demanded by the EU. The EU is adopting a one-sided policy that contradicts the agreements reached between the parties. Perhaps most alarmingly, it seems oblivious to the current realities in the Palestinian territories and the Middle East. It is time for a new approach” explained Tucker.
The conference will be co-hosted by Leo van Doesburg, European Representative for the IAF and Chairman of the EU Israel Allies Caucus MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, of The Netherlands SPG. Ruissen said "The EU's continued call for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders does not do justice to the complex situation in this region and to the Oslo Accords. Tucker's study makes clear that both historically and legally, Israel also has a right to speak with its claims to Judah and Samaria. This means that these are not occupied areas, but disputed areas. Serious peace negotiations can only succeed if this reality is confronted and recognised. To come to meaningfull negotiations, the PA will have to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist. The EU should rethink its policy regarding the Middle East Peace process, thereby taking into account the developments in the regional context rather than sticking to outdated parameters, and moving from an interfering attitude to a more facilitating and encouraging role.”
Minister Matan Kahana stated that "It is important that these European legislators know that Israel has solid legal and moral grounds to defend its activities, especially since they are often exposed to anti-Israel rhetoric. As a former IDF soldier in the special forces unit, where I served together with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, and as a former fighter pilot and squadron commander, I can share with complete confidence that the actions the Israeli government embarks upon with regard to security stem from both our commitment to Israel as the Jewish state as well as our commitment to protect the democratic rights of all people.”
KCAC Co-Chair Yuli Edelstein related to the recent decision of the Belgian government to label products originating in Judea and Samaria. “Except for causing unemployment among Jews and Palestinians alike, these decisions don’t accomplish anything; they definitely don’t contribute to peace. I encourage you to bring the real picture of Israel to the world. The picture of our rights to live and settle here. The picture of the modern state of Israel, a flourishing democracy in the Middle East.”
KCAC Co-Chair MK Sharren Haskel added that “ Those who truly want a better future for the people of this region and to put an end to human rights abuses like those which Hamas inflicts on Gaza and the neighboring regions, should move beyond empty rhetoric and unproductive ideas which have yet to reap any benefits for the Palestinian society. We can only hope for a brighter future in this region, including for the Palestinians, if we acknowledge who the real aggressors and criminals are. Israel strives to be a light unto the nations and to build a better future not only for its own citizens but for the global community.”
The event will be broadcast online and will include the online or physical presence from Chairs of various parliamentary Israel Allies Caucuses in Europe, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of Israel related NGOs. Other speakers at the conference will include His Excellency Mr. Haim Regev who serves as Israel’s Ambassador to the EU and NATO, and Chairmen of the Welsh and Slovakian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucuses.
KCAC MK Gila Gamliel will join the conference via zoom to provide feedback on Tucker’s presentation. “ The European Union pressures Israel to accept a two-state solution, without considering the dangers that it imposes on the Israeli citizens. Israel has the right for security and territorial integrity. The European Union must consider the outcomes when negotiating an agreement” said Gamliel.
KCAC Assistant Director Sharon Weinstein will be the Israeli delegate attending the conference on behalf of the IAF. “In light of last week’s announcement by the Belgian government to label Israeli products from Judea and Samaria, it is especially important to gather in Brussels together with Christian parliamentarians who are long-standing supporters of Israel to encourage them to broadcast their voice in the international arena” said Weinstein.