Council for European Palestinian Relations


The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) describes itself as:

…an independent not-for-profit organisation which has been established to promote dialogue and understanding between European, Palestinian and Arab parliamentarians and policy-makers.  It seeks a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on justice and the restoration of Palestinian rights in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.

Dr. Arafat Shoukri, the CEPR Executive Director, was at one time the Executive Director of the U.K. based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which is closely tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. He is also the chairman of the European Campaign To End the Siege in Gaza (ECESG), a group whose telephone numbers and address are the same as the PRC and which has also has extensive ties to Hamas and the UK and Global Muslim Brotherhood. The ECESG was a major sponsor of the abortive second Gaza Flotilla that was intended to aid Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Two of of the CEPR trustees are also part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Anouar Gharbi (aka Anwar al-Gharbi) now serving as Foreign Affairs Adviser of the President of Tunisia,  was also a founding member of the ECESG, identified above as close to both the PRC and to the the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and Mr. Gharbi was one of the coordinators for the 2nd Gaza Flotilla. Mr Gharbi has also been an officer of the Association de Secours Palestinien (ASP) in Switzerland, the Swiss member of the Union of Good (UOG), a coalition of charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi which helps to raise funds for Hamas. In addition, Mr. Gharbi is a founding member and former President, now Honorary President of, Droit pour Tous (Right for All) a Swiss-based NOG that describes itself as a human rights organization but actually functions as a Palestinian advocacy group and isi one of the members of the ECESG.

Mazen Kahel is originally from Gaza and holds a PhD in business management. He has also known to have been the Treasurer of the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), the French member of the UOG and which was designated by the US in 2003 as a terrorist entity. CBSP is also considered to be a partner entity of the ASP, the Swiss UOG organization discussed above.

The CEPR appears to operate largely as a  pro-Hamas lobbying group at the EU and has accompanied EU lawmakers on trips to Gaza. In March 2013, the CEPR announced it had met with an EU commissioner to discuss a recent mission to Lebanon and Palestinian refugees from Syria. The CEPR announced the same month that was hosting a European parliamentary delegation that would attempt to visit Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons. In January 2014, the Israeli Defense Minister outlawed the CEPR calling it Hamas’ leading organization in Europe.