Anderson criticises Tusks remarks
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has challenged remarks made by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk around Isreal, ahead of his meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said,
"Finding a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine is a target for the international community and a declared position of the EU, with the European Parliament repeatedly expressing its support for the two-state solution.
"However, last week it was confirmed to a joint Palestinian and Israel Delegations meeting that Israel is not prioritising a peace process - it's virtually off its Foreign Policy agenda.
"The comments made by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, also reflect this. He claims that the peace process is a priority – but goes on to give Israel an avenue to shirk its responsibilities claiming, "I am fully aware that it (peace) needs time and patience."
"Tusk attacked the BDS campaign, claiming no country in Europe wants to boycott Israel, however boycotting is a peaceful form of legitimate protest at the ongoing illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the ongoing inhumane siege of Gaza.
"His admitting that the Peace Process has stalled, concerns me and his failure to mention Palestine deepens these concerns. Although Donald Tusk stated that the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) was going to be discussed with Mr.Netanyahu, the Palestinian President Abbas was not mentioned, nor was the occupation or settlement constructions, both of which are considered illegal by Europe.
"Mr Tusk briefly mentioned the devastating conflicts, the extremist movements and the human suffering but seemed more concerned with the security of Israel and Israel as a trading partner. The EU ambassador to Israel said last week that the Gaza economy was dead. Peace and a peace process should be an immediate consideration."
"As president of the council, Tusk should respect EU policy. In order to advance a MEPP, there should be a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties in the region in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and Human Rights and the EU needs to become a real political player." ENDS