A Union of Good Web site is reporting on the conclusion of the Tenth Annual Palestinians in Europe Conference, held this year in Denmark, and identifies a new European initiative.. According to the report:
The tenth Palestinians in Europe conference sponsored by Tunisian President Monsof Marzouki which started on Saturday in Copenhagen under the title ‘Our Spring blossoms our Return’, urged national reconciliation in its closing statement. The Conference called on the Arab countries and the countries sponsoring Palestinian refugees to improve these refugees’ conditions reminding the Europeans of their historical responsibility for the Palestinian problem, and stressing on the steadfastness and great sacrifices of the Palestinians people to defend their land. The conference’s organizers also launched an initiative in which many European Communities will take part entitled ‘the wall and settlements’ removal’ and aiming at pressuring ‘Israel’. Meanwhile, a number of participants in the conference agreed unanimously on the key issues that must be supported, most importantly opposing the Judaization of AlQuds, the Palestinian prisoners’ issue and the internal situation stating that these issues can be solved only after a Palestinian reconciliation. However, Palestinian political activist Ibrahim Hamami noted ‘It seems that PA does not want Palestinian unity and is not interested in reconciliation.’ Mentioning all the agreements signed between Hamas and Fatah movement.
Expected speakers and attendees of note were expected to include:
- Clare Short (identified as former British Minster and MP, as well as Palestinian Parliamentarian and Head of Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza)
- Salman Abu Sitta, (Chair of the Land foundation and important founder of the Palestine Return Center)
- Emad Al Daimi (Tunisia Presidential Bureau Director, scheduled to deliver a speech on behalf of the President)
In February, a post reported on the initial plans for the conference. A post from March reported that the Tunisian President had met with the Secretary-General of the Palestinians in Europe Conference and was expected to “patronize” the upcoming annual conference of the organization.
The Palestine Return Center (PRC), a co-sponsor of the conference, has strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. Two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the UK. Muslim Brotherhood. The PRC is also listed as an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) which frequently acts in concert with U.K. Muslim Brotherhood groups and PRC activities are frequently promoted by the MAB, MCB, and other U.K. Brotherhood organizations. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.” The executive director of the PRC is Arafat Madi (aka Arafat Madi Shoukri) who is also the chairman of the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG), one of the main sponsors of the Gaza flotilla movement.
A post from May 2011 reported reported on the 9th Palestinians in Europe Conference which was held in Wuppertal, Germany and, as always, featured leaders from Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Important figures who spoke at the conference tied to Global Muslim Brotherhood included Amin About Rashed, identified in an earlier post as an organizer of the Gaza Flotilla and a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leader in the Netherlands, and Shakib Mahklouf, the leader of the Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The PRC has also co-sponsored past Palestinians in Europe conferences which have featured individuals tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas. For example, the 2010 conference was scheduled to feature Hamas legislator Aziz Al Duwaik and the 2009 conference was addressed via video link by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The 2008 Conference featured , former US. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Akram Al-Adlouni, and Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and close to Hamas. Nihad Awad of the U.S. Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was also invited to speak.