Brussels18 Jewish European organisations have set themselves up as an Association demanding a Just Peace in the Middle-East
At a meeting in Brussels (13th to 15th March), seventeen Jewish organisations from nine European countries (see list appended) set themselves up as an European Association with a permanent structure. This Association, 'European Jews for a Just Peace' passed a series of general resolutions on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.
The meeting in Brussels followed a conference in Amsterdam on 19th-20th September 2002 during which around fifteen Jewish associations in Europe that favour a peace between Israel and Palestine based on justice and mutual recognition, gathered for an exploratory meeting. The Declaration adopted there forms the basis of our federation (see the Amsterdam Declaration attached).
This meeting had been initiated in reaction to the idea, widely believed in our societies, that the ensemble of Jewish communities in the diaspora forms a homogeneous bloc in its unanimous and unconditional defence of the Palestinian policy of the governments of Israel, whatever their political hue.
The consensus which unites our different associations is summarised in the following principles: the interminable occupation and colonization of the territories conquered by Israel in 1967 feeds the violence which afflicts the Middle-East today; and peace can only be based on the mutual and unconditional recognition of the right of two states to exist side by side, the state of Israel as it has been recognised by the international community within its pre 5th June 1967 frontiers and a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as their common capital.
We believe that the problem of the Palestinian refugees must be resolved on the basis of justice, fairness and practicality.
A certain number of resolutions were adopted and decisions taken during the course of our three-day conference, in particular:
The Association "European Jews for a Just Peace" is a federation of organisations and individuals who have the status of associate members. Decisions are made by each organisation casting a single vote.
The only condition of joining the Association, whether as an organisation or as an individual, is to accept the Amsterdam Declaration.
The Association elected an Executive Committee of five members: Dror Feiler (Sweden), Amir Haberkorn (Belgium), Richard Kuper (Great Britain), Sveva Haertter (Italy and Daniela Vorburger (Switzerland).
The Association decided to set up a website in the immediate future.
Future activities Lobbying various bodies in the European Union. Lobbying within the Jewish communities of Europe. Demonstrations of support for the peace camps in Israel and in Palestine. Common and simultaneous actions (lobbying, vigils, demonstrations) aimed at influencing our respective governments. Facilitating meetings in Europe between Israelis and Palestinians. Organisation of Refusenik tours in Europe.