Around Europe 356 April – May 2014

In this issue of Around Europe, Deputy Representative Andrew Lane discusses how Europe should foster peace, not war, through the CSDP. Programme Assistant Chris Diskin talks about the importance of voting in the May 2014 European Parliamentary Elections. While Programme Assistant Rebecca Viney-Wood writes about how 2014 will be a … More…

Around Europe 355 February – March 2014

The February-March edition of our monthly newsletter. Deputy Representative Andrew Lane talks about the EU’s reversion to militarism. Programme Assistant Rebecca Viney-Wood discusses freedom of the press in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Chris Diskin writes about a sunset clause for TTIP and Alexandra Bosbeer reminds us of the importance of … More…

Videos of the keynote speeches from the QCEA/QPSW Europe and Economic Justice conference are now available!

Videos of the keynote speeches from the November 2013 QCEA/QPSW – Europe and Economic Justice conference can now be found on QCEA’s website and YouTube. The conference focused on the the causes and consequences of the current European economic crisis, the alternatives to austerity and how Quakers can contribute to the … More…

Die Diskrepanz zwischen Rhetorik und den realen Gegebenheiten verringern

Martina Weitsch, ehemalige Beauftragte des Quäkerrats für Europäische Angelegenheiten (QCEA), analysiert die Bedeutung der neuen Richtlinien der EU hinsichtlich finanzieller Unterstützung israelischer Firmen und Institutionen und ruft zur Aktion auf. Am 19. Juli 2013 brachte die EU neue Richtlinien “bezüglich der Förderungswürdigkeit israelischer juristischer Personen und Firmen, hinsichtlich ihrer Aktivitäten, … More…

Briefing Paper: Growing Militarisation of the EU

This new briefing paper by Chris Venables introduces the problem of the militarisation of the European Union and outlines recommendations of what individuals, NGOs, and policy makers can do to build the strength of the EU as a peace project rather than attempting to transform it into a defence institution. … More…

Video: Rami Levy Supermarkets in the West Bank

QCEA is pleased to present a new short-film looking at the role of the Rami Levy supermarkets in the West Bank. For more information, please see the accompanying post on our blog.

Rami Levy stores have been springing up across the West Bank for several years now. Israeli businesses have been providing services to the settlements for decades but there is something different about these supermarkets. Rami Levy stores are located just outside the settlements, drawing both Israeli and Palestinian customers from the area.

In these shiny, well-stocked supermarkets, Palestinians and Israelis shop side by side. Families and individuals from both sides of this 60-year conflict encounter “the other” as they roam the aisles searching out the best deals.

On the superficial level, the integration of both communities in the economic forum of a supermarket is a positive development, especially at a time when separation (or even apartheid) policies are becoming the norm. The best way to break down the pernicious stereotypes which fuel hatred and fear and which are sadly deeply entrenched in this conflict is for Palestinians and Israelis to actually meet each other. In a supermarket, shoppers are all there with the same objective; finding good products at good prices. Politics are not part of the equation.

But is this really the case? The argument that economics and politics are separate, unconnected spheres is a fallacy which has been disproved time and time again, in many places and contexts. How do Rami Levy stores affect the social, economic and political dynamics of the West Bank on a deeper level?

Want to know more? Read the post on our blog.

Around Europe 345 – September 2012

In this edition of Around Europe QCEA Joint Representative Martina Weitsch discusses what we can learn from Europe’s history of peacebuilding – in light of the European Union (EU) winning the Nobel Prize it’s a very interesting article indeed. Liz Scurfield gives us an update on developments within the Council of Europe on alternatives to imprisonment, and a brief description of recent changes in the EU-Israel relationship.

You can download September’s Around Europe in PDF format by clicking here. (1.2Mb)

We try as often as we can and when opportunities present themselves to make Around Europe available in other languages. Martina Weitsch’s article, ‘Europe: A Peace Process or a Peace Project?’ which appeared in this month’s edition is available in French in PDF by clicking here.

Netherlands Yearly Meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

QCEA’s Joint Represents to the EU Martina Weitsch and Liz Scurfield attended Netherlands Yearly Meeting over the weekend of 17th-20th May, the theme of which was “Just Peace.” The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role that Quakers can play in working for peace was discussed in detail. Here are some of … More…