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Education to peace is crucial in the #Israeli-Palestinian conflict



Long-term education to peace is a crucial issue when it comes to reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian and Israeli experts told an international seminar with the participation of some 40 journalists organized  by the Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA) in Brussels.

"This dimension was always neglected by both sides and the moderator,’’ said Michael Herzog who has took part in each and every round of peace negotiations since the nineties and the Oslo agreements. ''We had then an agreement called "people to people’’ which never materialized because the Palestinians didn’t want to normalize relations with Israel before any solution,'' he added.

"This culture of peace is the critical issue. It is not only about signing an agreement between two governments. You need to educate the people,’’ Herzog, an associate researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, stressed.

Bassem Eid, an outspoken Palestinian analyst and commentator, who is founder and director of the Palestinian NGO Human Rights Monitoring Group in East Jerusalem, agreed with this.  "Yes absolutely, this is one of the major problems,’’ he said in an interview with European Jewish Press.

"If the European Union who is funding the education system and the schools under  the Palestinian Authority, is not going to evaluate their  curriculum, which is not educating to peace, it means that Europe becomes part of the conflict rather than part of the solution,’’ Eid added as he criticized the EU’s role of providing a "blind support’’ to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"In my opinion the EU is playing a bad role. It so strongly supports Abbas – and not the Palestinians – in a way that is not contributing to the peace process,’’ Eid said.

"The EU is even not interested in seeing new Palestinin elections and don’t push for it because Abbas told them that he would loose them to Hamas.’’

He continued: "The Palestinian leadership is holding its own people as hostages for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As long as Fatah and Hamas are divided from each other, forget any kind of opportunity for resuming peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That because of the Palestinians  not the Israelis. It looks like the Palestinian leadership today is even not interested in a two-state solution. They are much more interested in a three-state solution : one Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip, the empire of the West Bank under Abbas and the State of Israel. This is how unfortunately we are living in the past ten years and that is  showing a lack of goodwill of the Palestinian leadership to resume any kind of negotiation with Israel.’’

Six months after the Trump administration decided to make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians a "priority'', the parties do not know what they really want, Michael Herzog noted.

Since the last round of negotiations failed in 2014, things have changed. ''Israel's Prime Minister has today less maneuvering room than several years ago because of the nature of his coalition, the Palestinian side is totally divided between the West Bank and Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas lost legitimacy in the eyes of his people and we have seen a rapparocheement of Israel and regional powers such as Egypt, Jordan, some Gulf States based on a common fear for instability,'' the veteran peace negotiator said.

He acknowledged that there are real gaps between the two parties regarding the core issues. ''Those who say that the gaps are minor are not serious.''

The Europe Israel Press Associaiton helps media and opinion makers in their daily work to better understand the complexities of Israel and the Middle East. It organizes press trips in Israel on various thematics as well as briefings with top experts in European capitals.



Iranian Opposition rally in front of US embassy in Brussels to ask US and EU for a firm policy towards Iranian regime



Following the G7 summit in London, Brussels hosts the NATO summit with US and EU leaders. It is the first trip of President Joe Biden outside the US. Meanwhile, the Iran deal negotiations have started in Vienna and despite the international efforts to return Iran and the US to compliance with the JCPOA, Iranians regime showed no interest to return to its commitments under JCPOA context. In the recent IAEA report, important concerns have been raised that the Iranian regime failed to address.

The Iranian diaspora, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Belgium, held a rally today (14 June) in front of the US embassy in Belgium. They held posters and banners with the picture of Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition movement who has declared a non-nuclear Iran in her 10-point plan for the free and democratic Iran.

In their posters and slogans, Iranians asked the US and the EU to work harder to hold the mullahs’ regime accountable for its human rights violations too. The protesters emphasized the need for a decisive policy by the US and the European countries to harness the mullahs’ quest for a nuclear bomb, stepped up repression at home, and terrorist activities abroad.

According to the new IAEA report, despite the previous agreement, the clerical regime refuses to answer IAEA questions on four disputed sites and (to kill time) has postponed further talks until after its presidential election. According to the report, the regime's enriched uranium reserves have reached 16 times the limit allowed in the nuclear deal. The production of 2.4 kg of 60% enriched uranium and about 62.8kg of 20% enriched uranium are of grave concern.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said: Despite agreed terms, “After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles…We are facing a country that has an advanced and ambitious nuclear program and is enriching Uranium very close to weapons-grade level.”

Grossi’s remarks, also reported by Reuters today, reiterated: “The lack of clarification of the agency’s questions regarding the accuracy and integrity of Iran’s Safeguard Declaration will seriously affect the agency’s ability to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Maryam Rajavi (pictured), the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said that the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the remarks by its Director-General once again show that to guarantee its survival, the clerical regime has not abandoned its atomic bomb project. It also shows that to buy time, the regime has continued its policy of secrecy to mislead the international community. At the same time, the regime is blackmailing its foreign interlocutors into lifting sanctions and ignoring its missile programs, export of terrorism, and criminal meddling in the region.

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Ex-EU Brexit negotiator Barnier: UK reputation at stake in Brexit row




Head of the Task Force for Relations with the UK, Michel Barnier attendsthe debate on EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement during the second day of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium April 27, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

Michel Barnier, the European Union's former Brexit negotiator, said on Monday (14 June) that the reputation of the United Kingdom was at stake regarding tensions over Brexit.

EU politicians have accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of not respecting engagements made regarding Brexit. Growing tensions between Britain and the EU threatened to overshadow the Group of Seven summit on Sunday, with London accusing France of "offensive" remarks that Northern Ireland was not part of the UK. Read more

"The United Kingdom needs to pay attention to its reputation," Barnier told France Info radio. "I want Mr Johnson to respect his signature," he added.

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Parliament president calls for a European Search and Rescue Mission



European Parliament President David Sassoli (pictured) has opened a high-level interparliamentary conference on managing migration and asylum in Europe. The conference focused particularly on the external aspects of migration. The president said: “We have chosen to discuss today the external dimension of migration and asylum policies because we know that only by tackling the instability, crises, poverty, human rights violations that occur beyond our borders, will we be able to address the root causes that push millions of people to leave. We need to manage this global phenomenon in a human way, to welcome the people that knock on our doors every day with dignity and respect.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on migration patterns locally and worldwide and has had a multiplier effect on the forced movement of people around the world, especially where access to treatment and healthcare is not guaranteed. The pandemic has disrupted migration pathways, blocked immigration, destroyed jobs and income, reduced remittances, and pushed millions of migrants and vulnerable populations into poverty.
“Migration and asylum are already an integral part of the external action of the European Union. But they must become part of a stronger and more cohesive foreign policy  in the future.
“I believe it is our duty first of all to save lives. It is no longer acceptable to leave this responsibility only to NGOs, which perform a substitute function in the Mediterranean. We must go back to thinking about joint action by the European Union in the Mediterranean that saves lives and tackles traffickers. We need a European search and rescue mechanism at sea, which uses the expertise of all actors involved, from Member States to civil society to European agencies.
“Second, we must ensure that people in need of protection can arrive in the European Union safely and without risking their lives. We need humanitarian channels to be defined together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We must work together on a European resettlement system based on common responsibility. We are talking about people who can also make an important contribution to the recovery of our societies affected by the pandemic and demographic decline, thanks to their work and their skills.
“We also need to put in place a European migration reception policy. Together we shoulddefine the criteria for a single entry and residence permit, assessing the needs of our labor markets at a national level. During the pandemic, entire economic sectors came to a halt due to the absence of immigrant workers. We need regulated immigration for the recovery of our societies and for the maintenance of our social protection systems.”

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