Saturday

25th May 2019

Pro-Palestinian list to run in French European elections

The green, white, red and black of Palestine will be on display at next month's European Elections, when a pro-Palestinian party will seek election.

The new 'Euro-Palestine' party has been set up and may contend seats in up to three French constituencies

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"Peace in Palestine is our concern", Christophe Oberlin, who heads the group in Ile-de-France told Liberation.

"60 percent of Europeans think that Israel is the greatest threat to World peace", he added referring to a recent Eurobarometer poll set up by the European Commission.

Mr Oberlin, a Parisian surgeon aged 52, witnessed the conflict when travelling on missions in Gaza.

However, his previous political experience is limited to a mandate at a local municipality of Paris, where he was elected for the Socialist Party

The formation of the group is being taken as a sign of the strong sentiments among French people over the Mid-East conflict.

Anti-Semitism?

The Israeli government released figures earlier this year showing that 47 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe take place in France.

Presenting the figures in Jerusalem in January, Israeli minister Natan Sharansky said, "the situation for Jews in France is very problematic. Last year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents doubled and 47 percent of anti-Semitic attacks in Western Europe took place in France".

The new Europe-Palestine list however refuses all allegations of anti-Semitism.

"It is the state of Israel, as it has functioned since 1967, that stirs new anti-Semitism", the historian Maurice Rajsfus said to Libération.

He added: "What is referred to as anti-Semitism is nothing but the reaction of young people, rejected by all sides, without any hope or future, who pose as avengers for suppressed Palestinians".

The election takes place on 13 June.

EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'

EU leaders praised Theresa May's commitment to deliver an orderly Brexit - while they now brace themselves for an even more eurosceptic British prime minister.

Key details on how Europeans will vote

It's one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world with over 400 million eligible voters. National rules apply, and national parties run, but the stakes are at European level.

Interview

Populists 'could be the opposition parliament needs'

Dutch historian and writer Luuk van Middelaar argues populists could be the new opposition in the next European Parliament and a better reflection of EU public opinion - thus actually reinforcing the body's status.

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