Thursday, August 16, 2007

Polish MEPs boycott UN conference

by Yaakov Lappin from Ynetnews

'We can call this conference anti-Israeli,' Polish MEP says

A conference of UN NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be hosted at the European Parliament this month, will be boycotted by Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political spectrum, who say that the conference is biased against Israel.

The meeting, set to take place at the European Parliament on August 30 - 31, has been organized by the UN's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, has written to the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, asking him to cancel the European Parliament's decision to host the conference, while the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor organization said the upcoming conference as a rehash of the 2001 UN Durban conference on racism, which saw unprecedented levels of anti-Zionist rhetoric, and calls for Israel's destruction.

"I will not take part in this conference. I saw the materials prepared by the organizers," Bronisław Geremek, a Polish MEP, was quoted by Polish website, Europa21 as saying.

"Although there is no official statement that Israel must be pushed down to the sea there, the choice of subjects and the attitude towards the problems shows that it will be a biased, conflict generating conference. Actually we can call it anti-Israeli," he said.

'Israelis can count on Poles'

"There is not the first such initiative. (The) Pro-Palestinian lobby is very active here. If in fact, the conference will become propagandist, Israelis can count on Poles," Boguslaw Sonik, another Polish MEP, said.

Konrad Szymanski, a third MEP, said: "Israel's objections are fully justified. (The) UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is a platform for activity of various extremists. According to the most of them Israel should disappear."

"I am astonished that European Parliament allowed such activity to be placed in its building. If there is any activity against the conference, i.e. a petition signed by MEPs, I will be very glad to support it," Szymanski added.

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