Five member groups of European Jews for a Just Peace and Free Speech on Israel, signed a public letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and Commissioner Vera Jourova, asking that Ms. Katharina von Schnurbein be prevented from attending the meeting.
Our reason was that Minister Erdan is a well-known ultra-rightist. As Minster for Israeli police, has has been responsible for the extra-judicial killing of several Palestinians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem. As Minister for Strategic Affairs, he was responsible for publishing a report titled ?The Money Trail: European Union Financing of Organizations Promoting Boycotts against the State of Israel?, which comprised 34 pages of incitement against a series of civil society organisations, against the individual workers (including Jewish Europeans) and management in those organisations, and against the EU bodies who provide financing for them.
Unfortunately, Ms. Von Schnurbein was allowed to attend the meeting.
Here is the public letter:
Dear Commission President Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker,
Dear Commissioner Ms. Jourova,
It has come to our attention that the Israeli Minister of Public Security, and Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan of the Likud party will be attending an event at the European Parliament, with participation by EU Commission coordinator on Combating Antisemitism Katarina von Schnurbein, on September 25th, 2019.
This unfortunately indicates a concerning lack of due diligence on behalf of the event?s organisers and of Ms. Von Schnurbein. Inviting Mr. Erdan, an Israeli hardliner, to a public forum involving a European Commission coordinator puts European politicians, officials and civil society actors at risk and violates the obligation of EU officials to maintain the safety and security of their co-workers and interests abroad. Ms. Von Schnurbein mandate is to protect European Jewish communities from harm. By participating in this event, she panders instead to Israeli right-wing interests that directly conflict with the safety and prosperity of Jewish communities in Europe, including our own.
As the minister responsible for the Israeli Police, Mr. Erdan is holding ministerial responsibility for several extra-juridical police killings and discriminatory policies, both in occupied east Jerusalem and within Israel. On his additional capacity as the Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Mr. Erdan has been involved in publishing a report titled ?The Money Trail: European Union Financing of Organizations Promoting Boycotts against the State of Israel? in January 2019 (2nd Edition). The report is signed only by the ministry, and therefore should be seen as representing Mr. Erdan?s political position.
The undersigned Jewish European organisations:
Een Andere Joodse Stem (Belgium)
Union Juive Fran?aise pour la Paix (France)
Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK)
J?dische Stimme f?r gerechter Frieden in Nahost (Germany)
Judar f?r Israelisk Palestinsk Fred (Sweden)
Free Speech on Israel (UK)