AJC Transatlantic Institute Welcomes More Balanced EU Parliament Resolution on Arab-Israeli Conflict

Strasbourg – 18 May 2017 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes that today’s European Parliament resolution on the Arab-Israeli conflict is more balanced than previous such documents as it more clearly addresses Palestinian obstacles to peace, specifically incitement and terrorism.

 Lawmakers overwhelmingly adopted the text, which includes significant new language that “Condemns all acts of violence, acts of terrorism against Israelis[emphasis added], and incitement to violence which are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution.”

Past resolutions generally avoided identifying culprits and victims, thus wrongly suggesting that both parties might be guilty of such acts rather than just the Palestinians. The resolution also includes an indirect condemnation of the Palestinian Authority for paying significant salaries to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons. Often a multiple of an average Palestinian salary, the payments, which rise with the severity of the crimes, are now channelled through the PLO which is also headed by President Abbas. The special terrorist fund amounts to about 7% of the Palestinian budget, which in turn is funded to a large degree by European taxpayers. The relevant passage in the resolution reads: “[S]tresses the responsibility of relevant EU authorities in continuing to ensure that no EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organisations or activities that incite these acts.”

 “While we would have wished for even clearer language, we appreciate the important step Parliament has taken to end the counterproductive habit of sheltering the Palestinians from legitimate criticism,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels. “By unflinchingly addressing also the Palestinians’ own shortcomings that prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state–such as incitement, terror, corruption, lack of rule of law, internal division–the EU can play a truly constructive role in the peace process,” Schwammenthal added.

The resolution missed the opportunity to explicitly name the terror organization Hamas: “We would have also liked to see Hamas clearly named in the resolution as a terror organization resonsible for the suffering of its own population by diverting funds from public services to terror infratructure,” said Daniel Schwammenthal.

 The AJC Transatlantic Institute is the EU Office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a non-partisan organization founded in 1906 and dedicated to defending universal human rights throughout the world.

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