S and D Bedouin October 2013

Mission of Israel Condemns Delegitimization Effort

  •   The S&D Group at the European Parliament denied freedom of speech to an Israeli official while hate speech poster was displayed during a debate

    Photo: Mission of Israel to the EU

    On 17 October 2013, the S&D Group held a seminar entitled "Bedouins in the Naqab/Negev: Dreams and Nightmare"  under the auspices of Ms. De Keyser MEP, vice-chair of the S&D Group.

    During the event, the organizers displayed a poster with the following statement:"Stop Prawer-Begin Plan, no ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Bedouin".

    It is unacceptable that a poster accusing Israel of "Ethnic Cleansing" toward the Bedouin population in the Negev was displayed in the European Parliament. Europeans and Israelis are fully aware of the possible consequences of the irresponsible use of such words.

    The Mission of Israel to the European Union urges EU lawmakers to condemn the use of such words during an event hosted in the European Parliament and to make clear that the European Parliament is committed to a constructive dialogue with Israel.

    As regards to the seminar, it is very unfortunatel that the organizers of the S&D Seminar systematically refused to host as a speaker Mr. Doron Almog, Director of the Headquarters for Economic and Community Development of the Negev Bedouin in the Prime Minister's Office.

    Indeed, we firmly believe that the participation in the seminar of Mr. Almog, a Senior Israeli official whose work focuses on the situation of the Bedouin community on the ground, could have been conducive to a constructive dialogue on this very sensitive social issue.

    David Saranga, Head of European Parliament Liaison Department at Israel's Mission to the EU, who was present at the event intervened, "Unfortunately, the organizer systematically rejected our many requests to host an Israeli official as a speaker. They only agreed to give Mr. Almog the floor for five minutes during the debate. This is certainly not the way to handle a dialogue. All this makes me fear that the real objective of this seminar is not to improve the living conditions of the Israeli Bedouin but rather to cynically exploit this crucial issue to once again bash Israel. This is certainly not the best way to conduct a constructive dialogue."

    Mr. Doron Almog and Mr. Kamel Abu Nadi, an Israeli Bedouin from the Negev, addressed the Delegation for Relations with Israel in the European Parliament on 17 October and provided first-hand information concerning the Prawer-Begin Bill and its ramifications.

    Please find below links to video clips relating to the events:

    og from Israeli PM's Office speaking at the European Parliament

    Kemal Abu Nadi, a Bedoui from the Negev, speaking at the European Parliament