JCall Launches First European Conference Ahead of UN Vote in September

The European leftist Jewish group to meet in Paris for first time since its establishment a year ago to discuss the 'urgency' of Mideast peace.

The European leftist Jewish organization JCall will hold its first conference in Paris on June 19, which will focus mainly on the Israeli Palestinian conflict amid the Arab Spring and the upcoming United Nations vote about unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state in September.

JCall, known also as a Call for Reason, was launched in May 2010, in an attempt to stimulate European debate regarding Israel's policies and its effects on the Jewish communities in Europe.

AP

"Israel faces existential threats," the leftist group writes on its website. "Far from underestimating the threats from its external enemies, we know that the danger also lies in the occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of East Jerusalem. These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable delegitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad."

A JCall statement announcing the first European meeting stated that since the organization's establishment a year ago, "the long chess game of diplomatic manoeuvers Israel and its neighbours have been playing has by now turned into something more of a blitz, played in a very limited time. One after the other, the foundations of Israels geostrategic policy have recently been profoundly shaken."

"This Conference is an opportunity for us to get together and draw perspectives for the future. When we launched the Call, we knew the situation was critical. It is only more so today," a statement issued by the group said, adding that in light of the uprisings in the Arab world, which "are shaking all geopolitical grounds in the region," it is crucial to discuss the "possibility of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State, this September at the UN General Assembly, and what the European Unions position might be in that case?"

Among the speakers at the conference will be Haaretz reporter Akiva Eldar, Gerard Unger, President of JCall France, and many European activists and journalists.

The group, whose stated objective is to create a European movement that will allow the voice of reason to be heard and aims to ensure the survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, puts at its forefront the "urgency" of reaching a peaceful solution with the Palestinians which "depends on the creation of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state."