Some MEPs have criticised a European Parliament recommendation adopted this week in Strasbourg on the EU’s relations with the Palestinian Authority.
It received strong criticism from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.
After the vote, ECR Shadow Rapporteur Charlie Weimers said, “Instead of focusing on the EU’s relations with the Palestinian Authority as the title mentioned, the European Parliament voted through a long list of criticism against Israel.”
He added, “The word ‘Israel’ or ‘Israeli’ is mentioned almost twice as much in the original recommendation as the word ‘Palestinians’ or ‘Palestine’. The original draft was very light on condemning Palestinian terrorism, but I am pleased that several ECR amendments got adopted.
“This substantially strengthens the wording on condemning Palestinian terrorism and ensuring that no EU funding may go to terrorist organisations or to activities that incite hatred and violence”.
The ECR group claim that the recommendation by rapporteur Evin Incir from the Socialists & Democrats Group “is a compilation of mainly criticism towards Israel”. The group goes on to allege that it “veers far from the EU’s position on its relations with the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“The recommendation goes as far as to call for the release of all political prisoners, which include members of EU-listed terrorist organisations such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The ECR amendment that sought to correct this by including the wording “peaceful” got rejected. This is a travesty”, Weimers said.
“The adopted recommendation on the EU’s relations with the Palestinian Authority is bad, but thanks to the adoption of ECR amendments, much worse has been diverted”, Weimers concluded.
In a statement, S&D member Incir, the Standing Rapporteur for Palestine, said: “If our goal is ensuring peace and security in the Middle East, if our aspiration is reaching the internationally recognized Two-state solution according to pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both Israeli and Palestinian states, if our duty is defending human rights, freedom and democracy everywhere, then why has this resolution been considered as controversial by the EPP, the extreme-right in the European Parliament, and beyond?”
“How controversial can it be to demand: an end to corruption and human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority; an end to terrorist attacks by actors on the Palestinian and Israeli side; an end to Israeli occupation and human rights abuses; the Israeli authorities to stop the demolition and confiscation of EU-funded projects that is supposed to go to schools for Palestinian children?”
“The answer is simple: It´s not controversial, it is the right thing to do! Unless, of course, someone believes that international law and human rights only applies to certain countries and people. Turning the occupation into a de facto annexation is not only illegal but also unacceptable.”
“We believe that these recommendations to the EU Council, the Commission, and High Representative, Josep Borrell, come at an extraordinarily crucial time to make Europe´s voice heard. We are very satisfied that the European Parliament voted in favour of a constructive tool for all actors working for peace and for a long-lasting Two-state solution.”
“People are suffering in Palestine and Israel, and it is our responsibility – the EU´s duty – to pave the way for peace.”