Pray & Vote
2019

Official statements from the different political groups represented in the European Parliament on issues relevant for the security of the State of Israel and European Jewry.

European Parliament Debate Combating Antisemitism (debate) (31/5/2017)

2017/2692(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

The European Parliament with this resolution shows a clear sign of responsibility to fight anti-Semitism more effectively throughout Europe. Due to an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, there is an urgent need for action. It must be our common goal that the Jewish population in Europe can live in social media without violence, physical attacks, hate speech and terror.
I am confident that more and more Member States can be persuaded to follow the example of the United Kingdom and, to my delight, of my own country, Austria, with the EU-wide common definition of anti-Semitism, according to the IHRA definition, as a starting point we can prosecute anti-Semitic offenders through new policing and clear case law. – MEP Heinz K. Becker for EPP

S&D Socialists

We always work against all forms of discrimination, including against LGBT persons or ethnic communities -gypsies, Roma population-, or cultural and religious identity, such as the Jewish population in Europe. That is why I have signed this resolution with full conviction that it sends a sign of solidarity with the victims of the wave of attacks and the growing aggressivenessagainst Jews in Europe, as witnessed by the events in Toulouse , Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen…
The resolution has nothing to do with the the right to criticize settlements and violations of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian population. It is not fair to link the resolution to the conflict in the Middle East, which lasts seventy years, and the occupation of the occupied territories, which lasts fifty years, with the condemnation that each attack against the Jews in Europe deserves. – MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar for S&D

ALDE Liberals

I just need to say ‘Paris 2015’: four persons dead in a terrorist attack against a Jewish kosher grocery store. In this city, Brussels, four people were killed in a terrorist attack against Belgium’s Jewish Museum. This resolution shows that we, the elected Members of European countries and citizens in this institution, do not tolerate anti-Semitism in our continent. The memories of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. We should do anything we can to combat anti-Semitism in all its ugly forms.
It is very important that we use the new tool, that we spread it, and that we encourage governments to use the tool and the new definition, because I am convinced that this resolution can actually send a very clear message to governments to do everything they can to prevent and combat anti—Semitic actions and to bring to court anybody, any perpetrator, performing them. – MEP Cecilia Wikström for ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and this resolution does not attempt to understand the reasons behind it. Studies show that European Muslims are 10 times more likely to hold very unfavourable views about Jews than non-Muslims. There are two main reasons for the growth of the current strains of European anti-Semitism. The first is the anti-Semitic content of the Islamic texts. The second is the dramatic growth in the number of Muslims in Europe over the last 50 years, a growth that is now spiralling upward.
If European governments were serious about combating this problem, they would do two things immediately. First, stop all overseas funding of mosques and imams. Second, end the mass immigration of Muslims into European countries. Any future migration from Islamic countries should be on a highly selective basis only. – MEP Gerard Batten for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

We are facing unprecedented increase in anti-Semitism in Europe. No longer just by marginal groups, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is becoming a strong political stream in Europe. Populist, anti-establishment movements use any kind of motivation to gain attention. This includes denial of the Holocaust, and verbal and physical violence against Jews in European cities and the presence of Jews in the Middle East.
This dangerous political rhetoric, however, leads us back to dubious discussion and debate about the legitimacy of the State of Israel. Democracy cannot be an excuse for allowing undemocratic forces to act. Jews in Europe have the right to live freely without fear. The State of Israel has the right to exist and protect itself. Any kind of questioning of this legitimacy cannot be part of a debate in this House or anywhere else. – MEP Branislav Škripek for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

My group is profoundly opposed to the definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, because it tends to include criticism of Israel. This inclusion is a trap because it affects freedom of expression and the opposition of much of the Israeli conduct or if in disagreement with Israel or with Zionism.
Please examine the amendments we have presented with the Greens. Our intention is to give voice to the many Jewish associations critical of Israel, it is also the attempt to combat all xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Gypsyism because anti-Semitism is always a precursor of other phobias and stigmatization. – MEP Barbara Spinelli for GUE

GREENS/EFA

Hate crimes and harassment against the Jewish population in Europe that has never ceased completely, and in particular, the situation has worsened during the various Gaza wars, as many in our countries do not distinguish between the State of Israel and the Jewish population. This has meant that it is no longer just those with Nazi sympathies who harass, but the group of perpetrators has become so many more.
It is very important that we make a clear difference between legitimate criticism of what the state of Israel does. It must be allowed to criticize the Israeli state’s actions, settlement policy, etc., without being considered anti-Semitic. We will not support the definition referred to in today’s resolution. This does not mean that I am not behind the necessary work against anti-Semitism. There must be zero tolerance to all forms of racism, to other ethnic groups, religious manifestations, ethnic groups. – MEP Bodil Valero for the Greens

ENF National

Perhaps not all mosques preach anti-Semitism, perhaps not all Islamic sites and Islamists preach anti-Semitism, perhaps not all acts of violence that are committed are of Islamic origin, but very many of them are. It is absolutely absurd and even idiotic to hide behind the finger of a reality that is under our eyes. Just get out of this Parliament and take, for example, the direction of rue de la Paix and see that no rabbi, no religious person, professing the Jewish religion would show signs of their religion.
I believe it is necessary to defend the law in a far more serious way than these extremely superficial and generic documents, because it is part of our cultural identity. – MEP Mario Borghezio for ENF

Click on the parties tab/name that you want to read.

European Parliament Debate EU support to UNRWA, following the US withdrawal of financial support to UNRWA (2/10/2018)

2018/2852(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

We regret this decision of the United States, which affects more than 5,500,000 people, men, women and children. that, just as the high commissioner said, we can not abandon. Obviously, this does not mean that we do not have to demand the greatest measures of financial control, budgetary control and accountability to these funds, but this withdrawal by the United States of not joining the international effort in favor of the Palestinian population does not benefit the influence of the US. We hope that the United States, on the basis of strictly humanitarian reasons, reconsider its decision. – MEP José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra for EPP

S&D Socialists

The decision of the Trump Administration goes far beyond abandoning frail people, people who need help. The decision of the Trump Administration reoccurs precisely in that idea of ​​growing hatred – hatred and disaffection. The decision is very serious, it is very deep and it is very political. It is not only financial. It is a decision that aims to advance on the path of making impossible the solution of the two States, making the Palestinian youth feel increasingly abandoned, increasingly away from the values ​​of solidarity and justice.
So, in addition to appealing to the financial effort – I want to call for the United States to return to the path of solidarity and construction of peace. – MEP Elena Valenciano for S&D

ALDE Liberals

First, there was the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Then there was the decision to discontinue part of the financial aid to UNRWA and finally to implement the general discontinuation. If you, as a state, finance one third of an organization’s budget and you decide to stop that unilaterally, then you do not want to encourage reforms. That is bullshit. You do that because you want to stop the organization. UNRWA is fundamental to the future Palestinian state. It is responsible for the education of the children, for the food parcels, for the health care of the Palestinian refugees. That is why I am glad that Europe is taking its responsibility. There are three things that we must continue to do. One, show commitment to the Palestinian refugees. Two, guide UNRWA in the necessary reforms. And three, remain in speaking terms with the United States of America. They must help to achieve the two-state solution. – MEP Hilde Vautmans for ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

Today there are more than 5 million Palestinian refugees registered in the UNRWA or in the Middle East. UNRWA was established in 1949 following the exodus of Palestinians expelled from their lands in order to provide for their help. It has also contributed thanks to the European support for the sustenance of four generations of Palestinian refugees. In UNRWA governance there are certainly aspects that can be improved, but I am deeply in disagreement with the trump administration, which confirms itself as promoting a political line which is totally counterproductive to peace in the Middle East and to the two-state solution, as ig demonstrated in the decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. – MEP Rosa D’Amato for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

UNRWA does not promote, but blocks a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem for almost 70 years. It is precisely the American decision to no longer wish to finance UNRWA in its current form, which offers the international community an excellent opportunity to drastically change the indispensable aid to Palestinian refugees in a responsible manner. And that requires new rational criteria for Palestinian refugees – no longer automatic – and henceforth places exclusive responsibility for the integration of Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories with the Palestinian Authority itself. Replace UNRWA in Gaza with UNHCR. Give UNHCR also the mandate for the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria. Brussels should actually support Washington in this wake-up call to the Palestinian leadership. – MEP Bas Belder for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

The US decision to suspend funding to UNRWA adds to a series of incendiary actions by the Trump government, culminating in the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state. The deeper pursuit of course is to derail efforts to resolve the two states and to cancel the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their own independent state.
Schools, hospitals, refugee settlements and health care programs that alleviate 5 million refugees are now at the risk of collapse if the required funding for UNRWA is not immediately available while in blocked Gaza 80% of the population is totally dependent on UNRWA support .
We call on the European Union and the Member States to take the initiative and mobilize additional funding for UNRWA so that it can continue to work smoothly. – MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for GUE

GREENS/EFA

My group thanks UNRWA for their fantastic work. It will be disastrous for the Palestinian refugees if this help is not ensured. But we have to see it together with the situation in the occupied Palestine, which has now reached a new low. Palestine is on fire, roads flow with blood. Just a few examples from the last days: Last Friday, 7 Palestinians were killed in Gaza; on Sunday there were several attacks by settlers against Palestinians in East Jerusalem; Yesterday, 93 Palestinians were wounded in Gaza, 7 were killed, including a child; yesterday there was the largest demonstration of Israeli Arabs to date against the Knesset’s recently adopted racist national state law; today there is a general strike everywhere in Palestine, also against the national state law, but also in support of the village of Khan al-Amar, – MEP Margrete Auken for Greens

ENF National

Well done President Trump for canceling the funds for UNRWA. By comparison, the UNHCR, with its 9,300 employees looks after all the refugees worldwide except the Palestinians. UNRWA looks after the Palestinians with 30,000 employees. It is about 5.2 million so-called Palestinian refugees with only 750 000 originally displaced. The rest has inherited its status.
This is a 200-page report by UN Watch, a document of more than 200 pages of anti-Semitism and glorification of murderers by UNRWA staff. But UNRWA also promotes a right to return of these so-called refugees. Eight million Kashmiris became refugees when India was founded, 12 million Germans were expelled after 1945, millions of Poles. Now imagine that for decades we have given all these refugees and their descendants a right of return. Luckily we did not do that because otherwise we would not have solved the problem but we would have perpetuated it. That’s exactly what UNRWA is doing. – MEP Marcus Pretzell for ENF

European Parliament Debate Iran Nuclear Agreement (12/6/2018)

2018/2715(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

We are all agreed on this House: The Iran Agreement has never been perfect, we must all be aware of that. Nevertheless, it remains the right way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. And, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, “there are no credible indications” of an Iranian nuclear weapons program after 2009 is due to all of this agreement. That’s why the American decision is so hard to understand.
But I would like to make one more point: Iran’s domestic and foreign policy role remains highly problematic: the massive human rights abuses, the ballistic missile program, the destabilizing role in countries like Iraq, Syria or Yemen, Hezbollah’s support in Lebanon, and last but not least the aggressive threats to Israel are unacceptable to us, and we wish, Mrs High Representative, that these issues will continue to be addressed openly and unequivocally at all political levels. – MEP David McAllister for EPP

S&D Socialists

There is nothing strategic in dismantling our common EU—USA achievements. For the sake of clarity, the Iran deal required the country to eliminate 98% of its uranium stockpile, dismantle and seal two thirds of its centrifuges, cap uranium enrichment at levels well below weapons grade and remove the core of its plutonium reactor. Today the sweeping inspections regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran is complying with all its commitments. Yes, the deal is key for nuclear non—proliferation and should be kept in place as long as possible. This is key for global peace and security.
The S&D Group welcomes the Commission proposal to activate the blocking statute. It goes without saying that the dialogue with the United States should continue. Nevertheless, in order to address separate issues, such as Iran’s presence in Syria and its support for the bloody Assad regime and the development of ballistic missiles, in parallel we call on the EU to take all necessary measures to ensure tangible economic benefits for Iran. – MEP Victor Boştinaru for S&D

ALDE Liberals

The EU has chosen, with international partners, to bind and verify Iran’s nuclear programme through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and our part of the deal is lifting sanctions.
Of course, we are committed to peace, diplomatic solutions and, first and foremost, that which we ourselves have signed up for. So to have this policy autonomy is key. Certainly, to have the US choose to abandon one of the biggest diplomatic successes at times where these are few and with so much at stake is enough for us to absorb, and so we simply cannot accept that Washington spells out which sanctions our European companies are bound by. I would be interested in what is possible to mitigate US extra territoriality without pushing private-sector risks into public institutions.
At the same time, our autonomy must be clear in Tehran. Iranian leaders cannot and must not dictate what we in Europe should do. Iran itself must build confidence that they are committed to their part of the deal if they expect us to try and work hard to absorb the challenge of the US stepping back. – MEP Marietje Schaake for ALDEE

EFDD Direct Democracy

The Commission extended the EIB’s mandate to Iran to support our businesses and to brush up on the so-called blocking status, which prohibits European companies from adapting to US extra-territorial sanctions. This chess game represents a problem as big as it is complex.
I believe that the US decision to leave the agreement unilaterally is a historic mistake and I firmly believe that it is our duty to do everything possible to safeguard it.
If we fail, we will see a very dangerous precedent, not only for further destabilization and escalation in the region, but because it would make it clear that the United States in the first place and the West are no longer reliable partners. It goes to our safety and not just of our business. Trust is earned drop by drop, but lost in liters. It is essential that there are no rifts between us on this dossier, and I say to the US allies: pay attention to abandoning multilateralism in favor of bilateral comparisons, it can be a double-edged sword for you too. – MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

The signing of the JCPOA with Iran in 2015 was a breakthrough to halt the march towards nuclear proliferation in an unstable region. According to the IAEA’s verification, no outright violations have been detected to date.
President Trump’s decision, therefore, to pull out now and risk unravelling this finely-tuned agreement is baffling. It sends all the wrong signals to the other wannabe nuclear states, including the DPRK. The US must be persuaded that the deal is still our best tool against nuclear proliferation, and on the other hand, Iran must be encouraged to continue to meet all its obligations. Finding ways to financially protect the European Union companies doing business with Iran will indeed be challenging.
In Europe, of course we do not share common values with the Iranian Government. There are still other major issues of concern to be addressed, such as the Iranian ballistic missile programme, its involvement in proxy wars in the region, gross human rights violations and supporting terrorism, but we must not let one poorly-advised anti-multilateralist president destroy an agreement that has, at its heart, the desire to maintain a more peaceful world. – MEP Charles Tannock for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

US foreign policy has become unpredictable and thus arbitrary. The United States, as a serious partner, is dimly perceptible and has long since lost its leadership role.
We must strengthen the UN and not squat like the rabbit in front of the snake, hoping that it will not bite. It has long been the time to go your own way, to remember your own forces, to do the things that need to be done. The Iran nuclear agreement must be maintained.
A further escalation in the Middle East can cause a conflagration in this important region and destroy the hope of so many people. We do not want that. Peace – let me conclude – and only peace makes it possible to develop the economy, fight corruption, improve the situation of people and effectively defend human rights. Let’s go that way! – MEP Cornelia Ernst for GUE

GREENS/EFA

If Europe follows the will of President Trump and reapplies the sanctions on Iran, then Iran will resume nuclear weapons production and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East will begin. Because if Iran has nuclear weapons, then its archenemy Saudi Arabia certainly can not be prevented, also to procure some. We must prevent this by all means.
Europe must prevail against Donald Trump, who wants to punish all companies that trade with Iran. On the other hand, our best practice is an old regulation that you, High Representative, have already mentioned: the Blocking Regulation, which helps European companies seeking to trade with Iran. This regulation compensates all companies that are no longer able to carry out their activities in the United States because of their trade with Iran. We have no choice but to take the measures you have suggested. Trade between Europe and Iran must not be stopped. I expect the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to agree in advance and signal that these measures will be confirmed, because anything else would be a deadly threat to all of us. – MEP Klaus Buchner for Greens

ENF National

There was a letter signed by France, Germany, Great Britain and Mrs Mogherini for the European Union, with which in fact the United States was a little appeal to exempt European companies from the consequences of sanctions. I have also heard in this House speak and insist, rightly and polemically, on this concept of American extra-territoriality.
But when has it ever been hindered before? And when ever, in the course of the numerous occasions in which we have commented and this agreement was generally exalted, has the scenario been foreseen – must we always foresee a plan B – that suddenly this agreement could be nullified? And what would have been the result for our companies? It is said that we want to protect small and medium-sized businesses, but those that are going to face the work and the great consequences, in a country like Iran not really quiet, are big businesses and they are all running away.
What is not clearly said in this debate by Mrs. Mogherini, is that they all run away, all go away, those of the car, those of oil, drawing a very dangerous scenario for Iran, above all, and therefore for the consequences of geopolitics and also very dangerous safety for the whole world. – MEP Mario Borghezio for ENF

European Parliament Debate Situation in Gaza Strip and the status of Jerusalem (29/5/2018)

2018/2719(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

In our resolution last month, we clearly recognized that the protests that began on March 30 were orchestrated by Hamas, a terrorist organization recognized as such by Europe. Even today, thirty rockets have targeted Israel from Gaza, and it is still Hamas. Among the people who were killed in the protests two weeks ago, fifty were recognized by Hamas as its agents and rewards were offered for participation in these violent protests. In our resolution, we have clearly rejected terrorist acts and incitement to violence as incompatible with progress towards a two-state solution. On the question of Jerusalem, … it has been their capital since 1949. – MEP Cristian Dan Preda for EPP

S&D Socialists

The Israeli army had never caused so much damage in Gaza and, unfortunately, despite this damage, the European response has been very weak. Gaza is facing a human disaster of inhuman proportions, so we want an independent commission to investigate what has happened. And we affirm that Israel has the right to its security, but Netanyahu’s government is clearly breaching part of the Agreement that Israel maintains with the European Union. And what we want is for the European Commission to quote Israel and assess whether Israel is complying with the human rights clause and respect for international law that the Agreement contains. Because, if a part of the Agreement is being breached, the European Union must raise its voice. – MEP Elena Valenciano, S&D Vice-Chair

ALDE Liberals

The opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem was yet another unilateral decision by President Trump. As we had predicted, this meant only oil on the fire. While on the one hand the champagne flowed abundantly at the opening of the new Embassy, hundreds of people died on the other side, including many children. We can no longer tolerate this. How much blood should still flow? How many children have to die?
Firstly, an independent investigation must be carried out. Secondly, we should not underestimate the role of Hamas. We must also boldly condemn their actions… Finally, we no longer have to rely on America to play an important role. Europe must play its role more clearly. We must open the way to peace. MEP Hilde Vautmans for ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

Rosa D’Amato (EFDD): 62 dead and around 2 000 injured, among the victims probably some militants of Hamas, but certainly also many civilians. I fully welcome the proposals of the UN Special Envoy for Peace in the Middle East, who reiterates that almost all of Gaza’s main infrastructures are on the verge of collapse.
Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD): Many young Palestinians trapped in poverty of an open-air prison, total lack of food and medicine adds up to 45% unemployment. And so mass protests begin… the Israeli army ready to strike without hesitation. The right to defend oneself does not legitimize the lawfulness of such a horrible bloodbath. We call on Israel to abide by the values ​​of a democracy, to exercise self-control and stop this useless loss of life

ECR Conservatives

Israel has the right to defend its borders but, particularly in the face of deliberate provocation, it must show restraint. The international reputation of Israel has again been damaged. This, of course, was precisely the intention of those that set these tragic events in train. In 2007, two years after Israel had handed control of Gaza to the Palestine Authority, Hamas seized control of Gaza in a civil war between Palestinians in which over a hundred people died. Hamas is designated by the EU as a terrorist organisation. It ruthlessly oppresses the people of Gaza, murders its political opponents and abducts, tortures and kills. It fills the minds of its people with hatred of Israel and the Jews. The Palestine Authority needs to take full control of Gaza and return to the negotiating table. – MEP Geoffrey Van Orden for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

UN resolution 181 makes it clear that all the actions of Israel’s occupying power, which alter the character and status of Jerusalem, are illegal and must be lifted. Against this background, we strongly condemn the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, serves the perpetuation of the occupation, triggers a new round of bloodshed. Israeli state terror, with inhuman violence against peaceful protesters. 128 States of the UN General Assembly have condemned the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and are seeking annulment. EU must put pressure on Israel to put an end to the criminal blockade of Gaza. – MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for GUE

GREENS/EFA

The living conditions of Gazans and the repressive nature of the Israeli blockades with their far-reaching effects on employment, infrastructure and any resemblance of normal life. Palestinian politicians are losing faith with the two-state solution and Israel’s obvious lack of good faith in seeking that outcome. UNRWA highlight illegal land grabs, and families who talk of their husbands, sons and children held in Israeli detention without charge. This and so much more is the reality of the repressive, disproportionate and illegal acts of the Israeli state. We should flex our economic muscles and review the EU-Israel Association Agreement, because it is not unreasonable for us to expect the people that we trade with to act responsibly, proportionately and within the law. – MEP Keith Taylor for Greens/EFA

ENF National

The role of Hamas is the tragedy of the Palestinian people that is taking place. Hamas sends them in the forefront, near the Israeli border, with everything you can imagine, women and children even at an early age, with the very serious consequences we have seen.
A great drama, on which we have the positive intervention of Egypt, which plays a moderating role, but a very bad and dangerous role of the usual Erdoğan, who stands up to a thug, to blow again on the fire.
In the name of a delegation that has always defended the integrity of Israel, I do not feel exempt from denouncing the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the deeply shaken and humiliated state of a people perceived alone, helpless, with no way out, abandoned by everyone, without sovereignty. – MEP Mario Borghezio for ENF

European Parliament Debate Situation in Gaza Strip (19/4/2018)

2018/2663(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

I am not optimistic. But under this resolution, five main groups have signed up to this text, so there is agreement to define the situation we are dealing with at the moment. I want to point out that there is an increasing awareness of the Palestinian people that Hamas is not a peace… it is not an objective that is important for resolving the conflicts that are taking place there for many years, but it can be a source of some not so much satisfaction as some hope. – MEP Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski for EPP

S&D Socialists

Gaza is the worst open-air prison in the world. That’s the truth. Young people blocked for decades, who have nothing within reach -no water, no air, no ability to breathe, no food, no medicine – are being shot to the knees and ankles to live the rest of their life disabled. Yes, Israel is entitled to their security, of course, and this Group will condemn terrorism always, but what is being done in Gaza is intolerable, inhumane, useless and very, very dangerous. We demand immediate cessation of the blockade in Gaza and an independent investigation to judge what has been a disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army against unarmed youth. – MEP Elena Valenciano for S&D

ALDE Liberals

We had difficult negotiations yesterday, but I am very proud of the result. It says in a very clear language that we all condemn the violence and we call for the immediate stop of the violence. We also show in unity that we are not naïve. We know, of course, what role the terrorist organization Hamas plays.
We are also one in our resolution where we call for an independent investigation. And yes, we welcome the fact that Israel is starting its own research, which we will also examine. I think that independent research into what really happened there is very important. We also give an important signal by calling until the end of the blockade. Because the humanitarian situation in Gaza is dramatic. That is why this resolution should really be a wake up call. – MEP Hilde Vautmans, ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

The current pattern of repression we are witnessing in Gaza has reached dramatic levels that can no longer be ignored or justified by the international community. The Israeli army has ordered shooters along the border to shoot on demonstrators trying to reach the fence that protects the border, but in fact they have opened fire on everyone, as evidenced by the dramatic images that have been around the world.
The response of the Israeli state has proved completely disproportionate in the face of protests. Numerous NGOs and UN experts considered that there were no serious threats to the safety of Israeli security forces: the use of lethal ammunition outside of situations of grave danger constitutes a serious violation of international law and human rights. – MEP Ignazio Corrao for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

The decision we negotiated yesterday is of course a compromise. But it is a compromise that the ECR Group has chosen to live with. We are pleased that it has been emphasized several times in the resolution that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that the Gaza Strip is the hub of international terrorism. We are also pleased that the decision calls for the bodies of the two Israelis to be returned by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, so that the two dead can get a dignified burial. Having said that, there is no doubt that the ECR Group is firmly in the very clear view that terror must stop and that Israel has a right to defend itself and its borders. Until the day you find a political solution to the conflict, you have to maintain, – MEP Anders Primdahl Vistisen for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

What is this sentence that Israel would have the right to defend its border? Israel does not even know its borders. Israel is occupying Palestine and making Gaza an open-air prison, which the UN has said will become unlivable by 2020 if nothing is done. Which human conscience can accept that? Israel is violating all the chapters of international law as well as the letter and the spirit of the association agreement that we have with it. EU must demand and set up independent inquiry, create mechanism for protection of the Palestinian people, lift the blockade of Gaza and put an end to the process of colonization. In the very name of international law, sanctions against Israeli power are now required. – MEP Patrick Le Hyaric for GUE

GREENS/EFA

Israeli security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Gaza calling for the end of the blockade. The use of lethal force against demonstrators who do not pose a risk to life or physical integrity is contrary to international law – and specifically to the Fourth Geneva Convention – and a crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. We condemn the murders; we demand an impartial investigation; we demand that Israel allow the entry of urgent medicines into Gaza.
We ask the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to immediately open an investigation and we demand the end of this inhuman blockade to which the population of Gaza is subjected. – MEP Ernest Urtasun for the Greens/EFA

ENF National

European Parliament Debate US President Trump’s Announcement To Recognise Jerusalem As Capital of Israel (12/12/2017)

2017/3012 (RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

The US in 1995 affirmed that Jerusalem had been recaptured as the capital of Israel through the Jerusalem Embassy Act. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations postponed the decision-making process. So, the announcement by President Trump should not surprise you (following the 1995 Act). According to his statement, “the United States has not taken a stand on the final status issues, including the precise limits of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.” This does not contradict our position on the two-State solution, with Jerusalem as its capital. But I believe that we should look realistically at the role of the European Union in resolving the conflict. The reality is that our position is unfortunately weak. It was felt on the ground, early this year, with the AFET mission in Israel and the Palestinian territories. In Jerusalem, we were told that we were too pro-Palestinian, and in Ramallah we were told that nothing had been done for Palestine. To repeat that we are for the two-state solution will not magically materialize. Finally, we must unequivocally condemn the violence and anti-Semitic acts that followed: Hamas rocket fire in Israel, burned stars of David and Hamas banners brandished in Berlin, Molotov cocktails against a synagogue in Gothenburg and calls to “shoot Jews” in Malmö. – MEP Cristian Dan Preda for EPP

S&D Socialists

The fact is that the president of the United States of America, probably by electoral calculus, has come to set fire to the fragile status quo that rules between Palestine and Israel. This statement is clearly a violation of international law, it is an illegality over another illegality from the beginning. Israel has long ignored international standards and, unfortunately, not only in relation to Jerusalem.
President Trump does him a disservice to the cause of peace and, of course, to his international commitments. I believe that it is time for the European Union to take the lead. We have said it many times, but this must be the most opportune at this moment and I believe that the answer to the action of Donald Trump is precisely the recognition of Palestine as a State. That is the answer that deserves the provocation of Donald Trump and above all is what we owe to the Palestinian people.
This is a serious and irresponsible decision and it is time for the European Union to demonstrate strength: political strength and moral strength. I understand very well the prudence of the high representative, but, really, it is a great opportunity to give a political and moral lesson to both Israel and the United States. I do not know what else we have to wait for. It is time to recognize the Palestinian state. – MEP Elena Valenciano for S&D

ALDE Liberals

President Trump goes with his statement grandiose against international law. He has sown fear, division and hatred. He has actually, as we say, played with a match next to the powder keg, and I am a little afraid that he has given the death blow to the peace process with his statements and his decision. This should prompt us more than ever to take up our role. I agree with you, we need a strong and united Europe.
But Ms Mogherini, we have been conducting this debate here for months and you yourself say “yes, I have to find the key to start that car”. Well, I have a few very concrete questions for you. But you should know that the ALDE group really wants to support you and encourage you so that Europe fulfills its role in this. We must ensure that this conflict is resolved once and for all, that a negotiated solution comes. You say very clearly: “Look, we want to play our part, we want to play a bigger role”. What does that mean? What will we do if the US continues that course? How are we going to raise that with our “friends in the United States”, as you said? What are we going to do with the violations of human rights, the settlements, reclaiming the destroyed possessions?
Mrs. Mogherini, I wish you a lot of courage, a lot of strength, a lot of strength. Let us hope that in 2018 we can achieve peace in the Middle East. It may be a distant dream, but you can count on us. – MEP Hilde Vautmans for ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

The decision by President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is the diplomatic equivalent of using a nuclear weapon. It is a choice that is reckless, irresponsible and indeed damaging for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people and is detrimental to the prospects for an already difficult peace process. The consequences are in front of all of us: six consecutive days of clashes, four Palestinians dead so far, and more than 1 200 wounded, one Israeli stabbed. Tens of thousands are demonstrating in a range of Middle Eastern and Muslim nations. Daesh is probably rejoicing for the free propaganda.
What saddens me the most is that these casualties happened just for Trump’s electoral purposes: they were totally avoidable. That is why they are even more unjustifiable. Jerusalem cannot just be the capital of Israel, or even less just the capital of Palestine. It must be the capital of both states, and we must recognise Palestine as a state, as provided for in the Oslo agreements. I dare to say, given its unique status as a holy city for the three great monotheistic religions, that Jerusalem should be the heritage and capital of all mankind. – MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

Those who know history know the connectedness of the Jewish people with Jerusalem. The EU and its member states refuse to donate wine on the Jewish state of Israel and its capital Jerusalem. So different from the word of Israel’s god and that weighs for me and many Christians in Europe really the heaviest and not the word of Mrs. Mogherini.

High Representative, you have invited the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to Brussels for January 2018. In this context, I would like to bring to your attention a recent report on radicalization in Palestinian education. I have it here with me, I will give you a copy. It is very serious that Palestinian school children get lessons from textbooks that incite hatred and violence. I therefore urge you to discuss this serious report with Mahmoud Abbas. High Representative, the flagrant Palestinian denial of the centuries-old Jewish connection with the Holy Land and its holy capital Jerusalem is blocking every peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How do you even see this connection of people, country and state and city? – MEP Bas Belder for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

We strongly condemn the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This decision serves only to perpetuate the occupation of Palestine and political instability in the wider Middle East and causes a new cycle of bloodshed with dead and thousands of injured mainly civilians and children. The status of Jerusalem is a central issue for a comprehensive Palestinian solution. The position of the international community is that East Jerusalem should be the capital of the independent Palestinian state. The US decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem reveals their overtly imperialist aggression against the Palestinian people and their full association with the occupying state of Israel.
The occupying Israel continues today to systematically expand illegal settlements, illegally demolish buildings, schools and houses and expel the Palestinians from East Jerusalem. At the same time, the Palestinian human rights violations, international law and all UN resolutions,
With equal distance policy, Mogherini, the European Union has a heavy responsibility for the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. We welcome the positive attitude of the European Union and the Member States, but the European Union must take drastic measures, demand Israel’s compliance and recognize the Palestinian state. – MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for GUE

GREENS/EFA

International law is the only common language we have in the world, and therefore Donald Trump’s statement on Jerusalem is dramatic. According to a number of UN resolutions, no later than 2334 from last year, there is no doubt: East Jerusalem is occupied by Israel and the solution is two states with Jerusalem as a shared capital. The US strategy is dangerous and destabilizes the region, and it must finally be clear to everyone that the US cannot and will not be an honest mediator in the conflict.
Now it is up to the EU to take real diplomatic steps so that we finally get a peace process going on. I would like to repeat what you said before, Mrs Mogherini: There is no acceptable alternative to the two state solution! We have several legal means available that should be used. The EU is Israel’s main trading partner. Therefore, the association agreement should be suspended so far. Israel clearly breaks its part. Then there is the separation strategy – “differentiation” – where all interactions with the illegal settlements stop. This strategy is mentioned in UN Resolution 2334 by the Council of Ministers and also by Parliament. And then I will also recall the recognition. Finally, it is high time to put an end to Netanyahu’s “impunity” and demand that Israel pay us back for its devastation of EU-funded relief aid in the West Bank. – MEP Margrete Auken for Greens

ENF National

Mrs Mogherini, Mr President, ladies and gentlemen! The GDR was not recognized by the Federal Republic of Germany as a state.
That’s why they did not open a message there, but a permanent representation. East Berlin was not a full part of the GDR. Berlin was under the four-power status as a city. But nobody came up with the idea of ​​not establishing the Permanent Representation in East Berlin. Of course, all EU countries have had their messages in East Berlin and not in Dresden or Leipzig or anywhere else.
It is therefore quite remarkable that a state such as Germany and other EU states that recognize Israel as a state – with a Chancellor who says: The security of Israel is the German state reason – that such a country does not send its message in the Capital, in the self-selected, sovereignly elected capital of a state. And it is also worth noting that the High Representative propagated the one-state solution for all of Europe and her supporters the two-state solution for Israel. This is wrong, and there is security in this region only when the Palestinians acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. – MEP Marcus Pretzell for ENF

European Parliament Debate Situation in West Bank & Israeli settlements (14/2/2017)

2017/2527(RSP) LINK TO FULL DEBATE: CLICK HERE

EPP Center-right

Israel is an important ally in the region and the only democracy in the region. By reducing the debate on the settlements only, we are alienating Israel and diminish our chances of contributing to the solution. We will do everything we can to ensure DIRECT negotiations resume as soon as possible. – MEP Cristian Dan Preda for EPP

S&D Socialists

Settlement construction is a clear violation of international law. The S&D Group opposes and condemns the adoption of the law which retroactively legalises some 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. On behalf of the S&D Group, we call on the High Representative to convene ASAP an urgent meeting of the Quartet in order to decide on the steps to be taken. – MEP Victor Boştinaru for S&D

ALDE Liberals

The legislation adopted by the Israeli parliament on 6 February must be condemned. It is a dangerous step in the wrong direction and it exceeds the rules of international law. But more is needed. The latest developments clearly show that words are not enough. In April 2003, the quartet presented its Roadmap for Peace. Today, almost fourteen years later, the two-state solution is further away than ever. In recent months, the expansion of Israeli settlements and the demolition of Palestinian houses and European funded projects have assumed worrying proportions. Human rights organizations are systematically silenced. – MEP Hilde Vautmans for ALDE

EFDD Direct Democracy

Security Council Resolution 2334 has severely condemned the settlements, calling them a flagrant violation of international law. The colonies have no legal validity. Support was almost unanimous, only the United States abstained. Unfortunately, the Israeli reaction was not good. The UN Secretary-General Guterres, who warned Israel that the adoption of this law will have legal consequences. On the other hand, Hamas has chosen a new leader for Gaza. This is Yahya Sinwar, 55, falcon among the hawks. Certainly the worst possible choice for the Israeli people, but perhaps not so bad for its current government. – Fabio Massimo Castaldo for EFDD

ECR Conservatives

Speaking of illegal construction policy in the West Bank, the EU finances (illegal) construction and infrastructure projects in the parts of the West Bank which are under Israeli control without coordinating with Jerusalem. Thus Brussels not only goes against the current law, but the EU also brings once again the security of the Jewish state at risk. I also want to emphasize a cardinal fallacy of the EU’s Middle East policy. The border between Israel and a future Palestinian state cannot be the object of an EU declaration, which magically transforms a temporary truce line of 1948-49 into a binding political border. – MEP Bas Belder for ECR

GUE/NGL Left

The Israeli settlements are constantly expanding undermining every peace effort to reach a two-state solution. The flagrant violations of Palestinian human rights by the settlers and the Israeli occupation forces are continuing. The tolerance demonstrated has led to Knesset’s unacceptable decision to legally reclaim 4,000 settler houses illegally built on Palestinian property. This decision conflicts with international law and any human rights convention. Immediately freeze the EU-Israel Association Agreement. – MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis for GUE/NGL

GREENS/EFA

Israel is at risk of becoming an apartheid state, why convene an Israel-EU Association Council meeting, Mrs Mogherini? It will be seen as a reward for Israel’s settlement policy. I remind you that late Prime Minister Rabin already in 1976 called the settlements as “a cancerous tumor”. When will you begin to defend some of the few remaining peacekeepers, such as Breaking the Silence? When will you ensure that the EU recognizes Palestine as a state and thus sends the Palestinian people a proper message of hope? Why don’t you live up to the EU policy of real separation of Israel and the illegal settlements? – MEP Margrete Auken for Greens/EFA

ENF National

You try to conduct here a tribunal against Israel. Israel is building homes in Judea and Samaria. This is something Israel has in common with the European Union, because the European Union also illegally builds in Judea and Samaria and then complains that it will be expensive to demolish what has been illegally built there. In that sense, it might be appropriate for the European Union to begin to turn its own way to the legal standards. And if you accuse Israel of promoting a one-state policy, well, you’re probably right. This is probably called real and security policy for Israel. – MEP Marcus Pretzell for ENF