- “Threats against Israel need to be taken seriously by the EU”
Jerusalem 9 May 2007 – Parliamentarians and diplomats from several European countries were among the specially invited guests when the European Coalition for Israel hosted their third annual Europe day reception at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.
In his welcome address Coalition chairman Helmut Specht from Germany
stressed “the common history and values which unite Europe and Israel”.
But he admitted that the common history also includes one of the
darkest chapters in European history, namely the Nazi attempt to
annihilate the Jewish people.
“-But out of the ashes of the Holocaust both the new Europe and the Jewish homeland of Israel were reborn and confirmed by the international community”, he said.
In his keynote speech Member of European Parliament and vice-chairman of the European Parliament delegation to the Knesset, Mr Bas Belder, expressed his deep concern over the lack of political understanding in Europe regarding Israel’s enemies. “- My political message is clear”, he said. “European institutions should not collaborate, on the ground of their own principles, with mortal enemies of the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel. Unfortunately, other totally wrong signals from Europe are not missing, for they don’t take the radical Islamist rejection of the Jewish state seriously”
ECI vice-chairman Juergen Buehler were on the same line: " We are particularly disturbed that Hizbullah has been receiving more visits from the European officials and diplomats after its attack on Israel last summer than before the war. Hamas is finding new doors opening in Europe as well, without having to drop its commitment to Israel´s detsruction. The European Union must adhere to a firmer line regarding these terrorist entities and support Israel, our only fellow democrazy in the region", he said.
The reception in Jerusalem was part of an official visit by an ECI delegation consisting of European parliamentarians and other leaders. Though the visit came in the aftermath of the release of the critical Winograd report about the Israeli failures in the second Lebanon war, Coalition chairman Specht was hopeful: “- Only a solid democracy like Israel could allow for such a thorough investigation to be published and debated publicly” he said.
During the visit the delegation was briefed by Israeli officials and security experts about the fragile political situation in Israel and the Middle East. The group also met with deputy speaker of the Knesset, Ms Colette Avital who gave her own conclusions of the latest developments in Israeli politics.
- “The fact that we have so many investigations going on in this country is actually a good sign because it means that we want to be a moral country”, she said. “There will have to be an end to corruption and mismanagement. What may have been tolerated in the past can no longer be accepted”, she said.
The delegation was also able to meet with the parents of the three abducted Israeli soldiers who pleaded for their help. Though the Coalition has already met with officials at the International Red Cross in Geneva it was agreed that they will step up their actions further and coordinate a pan-European campaign to raise the issue with all the relevant authorities and parliaments in Europe.
|< Prev||Next >|