Belgian Forum on Mideast to Include Eban, Siniora

Brussels’ Secular Jewish Community Center has arranged a meeting here next week between about 30 prominent Israeli and Palestinian public figures to discuss a peaceful solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the center announced Tuesday.

The theme will be “Give Peace a Chance” and the participants will include Abba Eban and Hanna Siniora, according to David Susskind, honorary president of the Jewish center.

Eban is a dovish Labor Party member of the Knesset and chairman of its Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Siniora is editor of the East Jerusalem Arabic newspaper Al-Fajr and an outspoken Palestinian nationalist close to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

But the planned forum has drawn strong opposition from another Jewish community group here, the “Cercle Ben-Gourion” (Ben-Gurion Club), which has started a campaign to get signatures on a petition rejecting any criticism of Israeli policies.

Susskind said the meeting will be chaired by former French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson and would include the participation of several Belgian political leaders.

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