Likud lawmaker Anat Berko, by profession a criminologist focusing on Palestinian terrorism, lent her expertise to a meeting in Vienna of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday.
The meeting marked the first time Israel participated as a full member of the organization’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism, after having been an observer in the past.
Berko was invited last month by a letter “acknowledging [her] keen interest and valuable expertise in the field of countering terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization that leads to terrorism.”
However, she refused to participate unless Israel became an equal member of the committee.
“I had the privilege of being Israel’s representative and the head of the delegation to the committee,” Berko said. “It is clear to the Europeans that they need our experience... We see how Europe understands that Israel is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to dealing with and fighting terror.”
The committee meeting dealt mostly with Iranian funding of and involvement with terrorism in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and other places.
Berko said, “The Europeans are starting to be well aware of the danger Iran poses to the West... It looks like the winds of change are blowing in their attitude toward Israel. I hope to see that in votes in the UN and its Security Council. After all, the information we provide them on terrorism and security is significant for them and comes from past and present experience in our country.”
Berko also met with Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, and encouraged him to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Zionist Union MK Yoel Hasson also participated in the parliamentary meeting, as the opposition representative.