Friends of Yehudah and Shomron Form Caucus in EU

YERUSHALAYIM -
Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan’s outreach to European diplomats is paying off. (Flash90)
Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan’s outreach to European diplomats is paying off. (Flash90)

Given the generally critical attitude toward Israel in the European Union, some members decided the time has come to establish a pro-Israel caucus.

This fall, the EU will see its first caucus created on behalf of Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron.
“There is a strong bias, prejudice of the current European elites against Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” European Parliament member Petr Mach of the Czech Republic, the caucus leader, told The Jerusalem Post.

On their agenda will be the issue of EU funding for the Palestinian government which is “used directly or indirectly to sponsor terrorists.”

Mach said they will also seek to shelve the contentious measure calling for labeling of products from Yehudah and Shomron.

“I could see in Shomron that Jews and Arabs work there together, and by boycotts, [or] by setting tariffs against Jewish products, the EU actually harms not just Jews but Palestinians as well. I think that this European policy is simply stupid,” Mach said.

“I see Israel as a friend and an important ally of Europe in defense and in the fight against terrorism,” said Mach, the vice chairman of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Union. “The war against the boycott is important for Israel.”

The emergence of such a group within the EU is largely due to the efforts of the Shomron Regional Council, which has been reaching out to Europeans and others on these issues.

Council head Yossi Dagan said they have hosted approximately 150 lawmakers from around the world, explaining their point of view and the facts of the situation, to counter Palestinian propaganda. The program was initiated by his predecessor Gershon Mesika.