EU, Israel and the peace process in the Middle East

Tomorrow, Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a report considering the policy of EU, concerning the situation in the Middle East.

My party group have together with the other big party groups negotiated a common report, which in many parts is well balanced. Some essential parts are still missing: Clearer condemnations of Hamas regime of terror, the absence of democracy and freedom at the PLO-controlled West bank, as well as the responsibility of the surrounding Arab dictatorships concerning their support to terrorism and making today´s situation with refugees permanent, as well as the fact that Palestinian refugees are denied citizenship and human rights in the Arab counties.

The role of EU in the Middle East has been unclear and indecisive for a long time. One reson for this is that the Israelis in many aspects lack confidence for the EU. This is fully understandable, since the hostility against Israel and anti-Semitism has grown continuously stronger in Europe during the last past years. From the European parliament and from the member states of the EU, unbalanced and biased statements about Israel are often delivered. The understanding for the exposed situation of the country, as well as its legit right to safety, is sorely missing. During the last year left wing parties in several European parliaments have demanded the acknowledgement of a Palestinian State, without any requirements at all concerning human rights and democracy.

Many with me hope that EU in the long run will be able to play a constructive role in a new peace- process between Israelis and Palestinians. For this to be possible, though, a realistic policy based on clear condemnation of all forms of terrorism and an acknowledgement that the goal is two democratic states, for two people,  living side by side within safe boarders, is required. 

adaktusson650

Below my speech in the plenary:

Mr President,

This debate is intended to give space for an exchange of views on how the EU can contribute to a renewed peace process in the Middle East.

Let me address those blaming Israel for the non-existent negotiation talks – those trying to pave the way for an EU boycott of Israeli products – those naming Israel an apartheid state. By doing this, you are not contributing to a constructive EU-role in the current situation.

A trustful relationship is based upon mutual confidence – a one sided EU position will not facilitate a peace dialog between Israelis and Palestinians.

Let me say that today´s joint resolution has a fairly balanced approach. Despite this, I fear that the preconceptions we have seen over the years, seriously has damaged the credibility of the EU.

Israelis of course take notice of the spread of anti-Israeli sentiments – as well as anti-semitism in Europe.

Mr President, this needs to be confronted.

And let´s be clear:

The only liberal democracy in the Middle East will never be a bigger problem than the evil dictatorships and terrorist groups in the surrounding region.

Thank you.

The text was published on MEP Lars Adaktusson blog on September 9th 2015

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