EJJP writes to MEPs: MEPs should not be taken in by the rosy views of Israeli policy presented by the European Friends of Israel.

Rue Joseph II, 174
BE – 1000 Brussels
Phone +322 2346818
E-mail ejjp@ejjp.org

February 2, 2011

Dear Member of the European Parliament, Recently you or at least several of your colleagues were invited to participate in a trip, for free, to Israel, which includes a conference to be held in Jerusalem from February 5th until February 8th 2011. This invitation comes from the lobby organization European Friends of Israel (EFI) which is supported by a number of Parliamentarians and is to a large extent organized with the help of the Israeli authorities.

We, European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP), feel the need to inform you that EFI in its activities and opinions presents a very one-sided and distorted picture of Israel and mainly aims at defending present Israeli policies, which to the opinion of many Jews in Israel and Europe are not in the best interest of a peaceful and secure Israel on the long run and have a negative effect on the position of Jews all over the world.

As a federation of eleven Jewish peace groups throughout Europe, European Jews for a Just Peace rejects the notion that EFI represents the true friends of Israel. On the contrary, by defending and promoting present Israeli policies, it obstructs a real, lasting peace in the Middle East. EFI tries to obscure the fact that there are many alternative – Jewish and Israeli – voices, that stand behind Israel, but do reject the occupation and suppression of the Palestinians. A safe and secure Israel can only be built on the principles of equal rights and respect for international law.

As the European Union, through its Commission and Council, has stated many times, Israel must end its policies of occupation and settlement of Palestinian land. True friends tell Israel that it has the key to the solution of the conflict. However, EFI does not seem to be willing to represent those true friends. European Jews for a Just Peace calls upon you, as a Member of the European Parliament, to be a better friend of Israel, by telling Israel that if it wants to be a partner of the European community it has to live up to European values and international law.

Real friends are willing to put pressure on Israel to change its policies towards the Palestinians and to call out loud for an end to the occupation. Real friends protest against attempts by the Israeli government to silence internal opposition against its nationalistic and xenophobic policies. As a real friend of Israel, you will have the support of many Jews across Europe, who detest the course Israel is taking right now, one which is in the end also disastrous for the Israeli people themselves.

And as the Egyptian case shows, the oppression of a people, like the Palestinians, cannot go on forever and will create an explosive situation with consequences also felt in the cities and streets of Europe.

On behalf of EJJP

Max Wieselmann Member of the Executive of EJJP