Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks in front of a poster of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin upon his arrival at the Likud party meeting at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Likud will become a regional party ally of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction in the European Parliament within a year, according to a process set in motion last week in a move that could boost relations between Israel’s ruling party and Europe.
A delegation from the Likud met with ECR parliament members last week at the European Parliament. They decided the Likud could already become observers in the faction and that a delegation of ECR members would be hosted by the Likud in Israel in October.
Eli Hazan, the Likud’s deputy director-general for public and foreign relations, said he would take the parliament members to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the Likud’s Tel Aviv headquarters, and communities in Samaria.
They will also take part in a socioeconomic project to help poor Israeli Arabs.
“When anti-Israel motions are debated in the European Parliament, we will now be able to send Likud MKs to defend Israel to members of the parliament in an official capacity,” Hazan said.
Founded by members of the British Conservative Party, the ECR has 75 MEPs from 17 EU countries. It is the third-largest group in the European Parliament.
It has alliances with the ruling Turkish AKP, with the US Republican Party and parties in Australia, Canada, Morocco and New Zealand. Besides the Likud, it is in the process of accepting parties in Tunisia and Lebanon.