A GUE/NGL group delegation has finalised a three day fact-finding and solidarity visit to Israel today. The programme included a meeting with the EU ambassador in Tel Aviv and a visit to the Holocaust memorial site Yad Vashem.
MEPs Martina Michels (DIE LINKE., Germany) and Curzio Maltese (Lista Tsipras-L'Altra Europa, Italy) comment:
“We have learned about the diverse and multifaceted Israeli society. We met with a vibrant civil society which fights to defend democratic and human rights for all in Israel.
“While the recent massacre at the Gaza border revealed the violent nature of Netanyahu’s apartheid regime against Palestinians to the world, it was clearly visible that this does not represent Israeli society in its entirety. We were told that the majority of the people of Israel continue to support a two state solution.”
“The purpose of our visit was to meet with those parts of society that do not support but combat the systematic violation of fundamental and human rights against, for example, progressive Members of the Knesset from different parties, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Bedouins in the Negev desert, Jewish minority groups suffering from austerity policies, refugees in the South of Tel Aviv, and progressive joint Jewish and Arab NGOs and individual critics of mainstream government policies.
“We are honoured to have met the other Israel. Those who aim to build a new economy and society not based on the military industry but on peace.”
“We come back to Europe with a better picture of Israel and a renewed challenge to help give voice to, and collect the solidarity of, European progressive forces and the international Jewish community for peaceful coexistence in the Middle East. We also call on the EU to show initiative as a facilitator of mutual understanding and real steps forward on the ground.”