EJJP protests to High Representative Borrell about the planned, open webinar discussion between Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and the head of the American Jewish Committee

June 29, 2020

High Representative/Vice President Borrell

European Commission

Dear Dr. Borrell,

We are writing to express our grave concern about the open webinar discussion between Margaritis Schinas and David Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the American Jewish Committee, scheduled to take place at 16:00 today. We only learned about the webinar last night.

The timing of the webinar is clearly related to the article “Confronting the Challenge of Annexation”, written by Jason Isaacson, Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer of the American Jewish Committee, which appeared in the Times of Israel on 26 June. The article commits the AJC to defend annexation if it goes ahead, while recognising that it will create some problems that will have to be overcome.

While the ostensible subjects of the webinar are “issues related to European antisemitism, migration and asylum, the EU fight against terrorism and radicalization”, the very visible subtext will be the article. It will give the false impression that the European Commission supports the plans, or at the very least does not object to them. The motive of the AJC in taking part in the webinar may well be to do exactly that.

The article ends by stating “It is not for the ardent friends and supporters of Israel, comfortable in our homes thousands of miles away, to tell the democratically elected Israeli government what to do.” EJJP does not accept the false logic of that sentence. The policies of the Israeli government, over 70 years, have been to deny the rights of the Palestinians and the applicability of international law. Therefore, all people have the right to oppose those policies. The European Commission has the right and duty to continue opposing them.

This webinar will undermine the European Commission’s policy of opposing the planned annexation. We urge you to use your influence to stop it.

Yours sincerely,

Dror Feiler, Chair, EJJP, Judar för Israelisk-Palestinsk Fred, Stockholm

Arthur Goodman, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Liaison Officer


Susanna Terstal, Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process

Neil Mac Call, Head of Division (MENA.2)