- The Palestinian Authority is the greatest Human Rights abuser of the Palestinian people
Brussels March 22nd, 2012 – The Palestinian people need more dignity and human rights. This was the conclusion of an ECI seminar in the European Parliament on Thursday, where Chief Council Calev Myers from the Jerusalem Institute of Justice spoke about “Palestinian responsibility for the human rights violations in Gaza and the West Bank.”
In his 35-page report, which was presented in Brussels on Thursday, he concluded that the Palestinian Authority, not the Israeli Government, is the greatest abuser of the human rights of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, neighbouring countries, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, were criticised for completely ignoring the rights of their Palestinian population.
-‘Palestinian refugees in neighbouring countries should not be treated as second-class citizens but be fully integrated into their societies and given the same rights as other citizens’, he said.
Myers also criticised the Palestinian Authority for its lack of an independent court system and freedom of expression. In his speech he asked the European Parliament why it continues to fund the Palestinian Authority despite the lack of democratic reforms and fundamental freedoms and human rights. At an international donors’ conference in Brussels on Wednesday, it was reported that $7 billion (€4.9 million) has been invested in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the terrorist organisation Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007; this was despite the pledge from the international community not to support Hamas. The donors’ meeting requested another one billion US dollars (€700 million) for the Palestinian Authority for 2012. The European Union is the single largest donor to the PA.
Meyers admitted that there are extremists on both sides, but the Israeli Government takes full responsibility for their own extremists and expects the PA to do the same.
- ‘When Palestinians were asked in the report where they would rather live – in an independent Palestinian state or in Israel – they chose Israel, the only true liberal democracy in the region’, he said.
At the seminar Myers handed over the full report to seminar host MEP Hannu Takkula, who promised to share it with key members of the European Parliament. He noted that there is great inconsistency in how certain members view Israel.
- ‘There are those who would rather see the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state with no rights for women or minority groups, than demand real democratic reforms.’
ECI director Tomas Sandell reminded the audience that as early as 2005, they had alerted the European Parliament to the widespread corruption and human rights violations of the PA, but that the members only woke up after Hamas came to power in January of 2006.
- ‘The creation of a Palestinian state is an irreversible process. The EU should push for political reform in the Palestinian Authorities now, in order to help the peace process. Without democracy and respect for basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, there can be no two state solution,' Sandell concluded.
The seminar was organised by the European Coalition for Israel in cooperation with the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, the Knesset Caucus against anti-Semitism and was hosted by MEP Hannu Takkula of the liberal Alde Group.
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