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Jews, Israel and the European Elections

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May 26th, we will elect our members of the European Parliament. Each of us will vote in all honesty. But our civic duty  goes beyond a gesture made in the voting booth. As responsible citizens, we must tell our close and not so close friends about the consequences of  the vote for such or such list.

In spite of all the difficulties met by he European construction, we must keep in mind  the benefits we gained since the creation of the united Europe—starting with peace and democracy. It seems so evident to us that we do not even realize how fragile a democratic  regime is. However, we have seen these last years the development of anti-democratic parties some of which have risen to power or been associated to it. Populist trends stand up again, contaminating the public life by spreading the worst prejudices. We find on some lists candidates who  distinguished themselves by racist or “antisionist ” statements. The prospect of a politic and social regression threatens the European continent. Therefore our first  selection criterion is the rejection of roublemakers, whatever their ideology is.

That being said, we must go further in our analysis. In JCall, our commitment combines the fight against antisemitism with the search for an Israeli-Palestinian peace. On the eve of the European poll, we may rightfully ask ourselves on the role Europe could play in order to bring together peoples in the Middle-East. Not only for the benefits of these peoples (and each of us knows how much the fate of the Israeli people is dear to our heart), but also because the security of Europe is affected by the risks of war in its immediate surroundings.

We may only regret the inactivity of European diplomacy in that area—no matter who is responsible for it : the European Union as such or its various individual components—, while Europe is  the first economic partner of Israel and one of the main funders of the Palestinian Authority. The Middle-East peoples do not need sanctimonious talk or speeches of denunciation, but prospects of a shared future. Thanks to their geographic proximity and their historic ties, European countries are well placed to  act as intermediaries between Israelis and Palestinians, and to handle an international program aiming to build a stable and pacific Middle-East. The United States, with a government too much in step with the positions of the Israeli right, won’t be able to  find a solution to the conflict without any help. Furthermore, a full partnership of the State of Israel and of the future State of Palestine with the European sphere would provide new prospects of development for the whole region. Such a field of action would be of benefit for the Middle-East peoples and in compliance with the idea Europe must have of its place in the world.

A strong and united Europe will be able to play a political rôle in relation with its economic power. It is exactly what Netanyahu does not want ,  since he allied himself with the nationalist and anti-European leaders—especially those of the Visegrad group—, his stated goal being to divide the European Union which, in his opinion, is too critical of his policy towards Palestinians. while the economic cooperation with Europe still greatly benefits Israel.

Therefore, we must focus— this is the second criterion—on the candidates who have a real European ambition, and the lists that put at the center of their agenda the pursuit and the strengthening of the European project.

A careful review of the programs shows that both criteria are often compatible, which means that candidates having a real European ambition are also rejecting hate conveyors.

Therefore, we encourage you to vote, and to chose one of the lists that meet these criteria.

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