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Friday, 08 November 2013 12:51
Statement on its working visit to Israel from 3 to 5 November 2013
The delegation was led by its chair Bastiaan Belder (EFD/NL), vice-chair Salvatore Tatarella (EPP/It) and the members Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE/SP), Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/DE) and Susy De Martini (ECR/It).
On Monday 4 November EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen briefed the delegation on the present state of the relationship EU-Israel as well as on the domestic and foreign policy situation of Israel.
The same day the delegation was informed by scholars of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, both in Tel Aviv, on a range of actual topics as Israel and the Arab World, EU-Israel relations, the Iranian nuclear threat, Israel-Turkey relations, Social networks in the Arab World and the Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.
In the evening the delegation exchanged thoughts with the Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Ambassador Raphael Schutz, Deputy Director General and Head of the European Affairs Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The delegation also met some representatives of the settler movement.
On Tuesday 5 November the 39th EP-Knesset Interparliamentary Meeting took place in the Galilee Hall of the Knesset in Jerusalem.
Members of both parliaments discussed the Iranian threat, the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, the impact of the new European Guidelines on the mutual relationship and the situation of the Arab minority in Israel.
On the same day the delegation went to the Supreme Court for a meeting with Justice Salim Jubran, the first Israeli-Arab citizen to receive a permanent appointment in the Supreme Court.
In the Knesset the delegations was at last informed by Iman Saif, Director of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassion Sectors in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The delegation wants to express:
*its ongoing support for the need of Israel’s security and for its prospering as a Jewish and democratic state;
*its total commitment to ensure Israeli participation in future EU-programs, including Horizon 2020 and seek to collaboratively explore and strengthen EU-Israel relations;
*its sincere willingness to strengthen educational programs with Israel, such as Erasmus, in the light of Israel’s brain drain;
*to be highly impressed by the commitment of the Israeli lawmakers and the civil society to the reduction of inequalities between the different segments of the population;
*its high consideration of the commitment of the political groups in the Knesset from all political spectrum to a genuine and viable peace agreement in which two states would live side by side in peace and security;

*its deep concerns regarding the progress of the Iranian Nuclear Program and stresses that the sanctions against Iran should not be alleviated and that the Iranian regime should be judged according to its deeds, not its words;
*its deep concern about the rising of anti-Semitism in Europe, including developments developments that seek to limit religious practices, such as circumcision and ritual slaughter and to cooperate with the Knesset on these issues;
For the Delegation:
Bastiaan Belder, chair
Salvatore Tatarella, vice-chair
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells
Jan Phillipp Albrecht
Susy De Martini
Brussels, 7 November 2013

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