Delegation of Arab Leaders Arrive in Brussels for mission at the European Union - مركز مساواة لحقوق المواطنين العرب في اسرائيل

Delegation of Arab Leaders Arrive in Brussels for mission at the European Union

In November 2017, representatives of the Joint List, with the support of the Mossawa Center and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Israel office), are in Brussels and Paris from November 6th-10th in order to engage in constructive dialogue with European, Belgian, and French state actors. The Mossawa Center has worked to establish sustainable cooperation with EU institutions for over ten years, supporting other Arab civil society groups to foster networks that can help the Arab political community, as well as its cultural, political, and economic institutions. The delegation will meet with representatives of the European Commission, Council, Parliament, and External Action Service, as well as representatives of the French National Assembly, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, and the French and Belgian ministries of foreign affairs.


The delegation will include:

·         Knesset member Yousef Jabareen (Chair of the Joint List International Affairs Committee)

·     Knesset member Aida Touma-Suleiman (Chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality)

·         Knesset member Jamal Zahalka (Chair of the Joint List in the Knesset)

·         Knesset member Masud Ghnaim (United Arab List)


The delegation will be accompanied by Jafar Farah, the director of the Mossawa Center and a representative of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Explaining the role of his organization in this initiative, Farah highlighted the importance of upgrading “the international political networks of the Arab community. Arab civil society has established important networks that can support the Arab community, as well as its political, cultural, and economic institutions of Arab society in Israel. We are more than a fifth of the population and an important political and economic actor. This should be apparent in the international community’s engagement with the region. ”


With unanimous support for a two-state solution amongst the Joint List, this group stands as a crucial bulwark against the perpetuation of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and further escalation of the regional crisis. At the same time, their participation in the Israeli political system, as well as their own public statements, demonstrate their commitment to a peaceful, legal, and democratic way forward. Thus, at this particularly bleak juncture in Israeli politics, international engagement with Arab political leadership in Israel is one of the few remaining means by which the international community can propel the peace process forward and ensure a more just, stable future for the region.


The delegation will focus on issues relating to the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel - 20% of the country’s population - emphasizing Israel’s obligation, according to Article Two of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, to respect human rights and to the question of the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the international community. They will call attention to the Jewish Nation-State bill to request EU intervention in preventing the development of further anti-democratic legislation and policies that contravene the rights of Arab citizens in Israel. The delegation will also raise concerns regarding increasingly commonplace calls for population transfers amongst high-level Israeli politicians, a plan which threatens to deprive hundreds of thousands of Arab citizens of their citizenship. Finally, the delegation will stress the importance of international diplomatic intervention in the particularly dire situation of the Arab Palestinian Bedouin community in the Negev desert.


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