European politicians this fall plan to form the first ever caucus group at the European Parliament to support West Bank settlements.
“There is a strong bias prejudice of the current European elites against Israel in the Israeli Palestinian conflict,” said a member of the European Parliament, Petr Mach of the Czech Republic.
He has led the charge at the European Parliament to form the group Friends of Judea and Samaria.
Mach was inspired to act by his relationship with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.
Since taking office last year, Dagan has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Gershon Mesika, in actively soliciting support for Judea and Samaria at the European Union.
The Samaria Regional Council boosts that it has hosted some 150 parliamentarians from around the world, including Mach.
Last week, Mach and Dagan issued a joint video about the formation of the new group, which will include some 10 European parliamentarians who support the West Bank settlements.
Among the issues they plan to tackle, said Mach, is European Union funding for the Palestinian government which is “used directly or indirectly to sponsor terrorists.”
The group will also work to sway the EU to include the settlements in its free trade agreement with Israel, and to halt its support for consumer labeling of products from the settlements.
“I could see in Samaria that Jews and Arabs work there together, and by boycotts, [or] by setting tariffs against Jewish products, the EU actually harms not just Jews but Palestinians as well. I think that this European policy is simply stupid,” Mach said.
“I see Israel as a friend and an important ally of Europe in defense and in the fight against terrorism,” said Mach, the vice chairman of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Union. “The war against the boycott is important for Israel.”
With regard to Mach’s efforts, he added, “your support of Judea and Samaria is critical for Israel in this day.
Thank you very much; you are really a friend of Israel.”