POLITICS
Palestinian lives hang in the balance and Europe is turning a blind eye

By Martin Banks

The “far-right, right, and liberals” have been accused of being responsible “for making the European Parliament complicit in the Israeli government’s vicious war against Palestinians.”

These are the allegations made by the Left Group in the EU parliament.

On Thursday a majority of MEPs voted in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza, but only if a number of preconditions are met, including the “destruction of Hamas”.

The Left Group said, “This precondition not only parrots the position of the Israeli government and preserves the violent status quo, but it also gives a carte blanche to the Israeli regime and the IDF to continue its genocidal policy against the Palestinian people. “

Reacting to what the Left called “the disgraceful” outcome, Manon Aubry, Co-President of The Left (France Insoumise), said: “For the first time, after being blocked numerous times, the European Parliament finally debated a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, at The Left’s request.

“It took more than 24,000 Palestinian deaths, including 10,000 children, and months of battle for Parliament to finally make a decision. But a liberal, right and far-right coalition unfortunately weakened the initial call by setting unrealistic preconditions for the ceasefire and refusing our amendments to put real diplomatic pressure on Israel. This manoeuvre gives Netanyahu and his far-right government free rein to continue his crimes. We will tirelessly continue the fight for peace and justice.”
In a statement, The Left said, “Today’s vote was a shameful endorsement of violence and oppression. Europe’s condoning of brutality and facilitation of impunity for Israel’s far-right government is indefensible and is enabling the ongoing massacre of thousands of innocent people.”

The Left tabled amendments “calling for the EU to use the full force of its diplomatic powers”, including:

  • Targeted sanctions against individuals and entities “found to be responsible” for ongoing international crimes;
  • An end to member states’ arms trade with Israel in line with their own obligations “to prevent the committing of war crimes”;
  • Immediate suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel;
  • EU support for South Africa’s referral of Israel to the International Court of Justice “for the alleged genocidal acts it is committing in Gaza.”

After these were rejected Manu Pineda, Left MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Palestine, said: “As time goes by, evidence of genocide by Israel against the Palestinian people is mounting.”

“To date, the Parliament’s failure to call for a ceasefire has been indefensible. Our position is clear: the EU is late and must do more. It must support South Africa’s case at the ICJ accusing Israel of genocide, which is ultimately defending the application of international law. It must suspend the EU-Israel association agreement and apply an arms embargo on the Israeli regime. This is the minimum to contribute to a real and lasting peace.”

The allegations are thought to be strongly refuted by other political groups.

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