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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Situation in Israel and Palestine, including the settlements (debate)

  Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE). – Mr President, in this House, I’m going to state the obvious: we are not deaf, we are not blind, and we are not mute.

We are certainly not deaf: we’ve heard the European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy. We heard it, in fact, from the High Representative here today, as we have heard it many times in the past, including last week. We’ve certainly heard President Donald Trump, as well as Secretary Pompeo, speak very clearly on Israel.

We’re also not blind: for decades we’ve seen blood-soaking terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, in fact, in the Nahal Oz kibbutz, which is very close to the Gaza Strip, where four-year-old Daniel was murdered inside his own home by Hamas rockets. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, looking over villages – Israeli villages – near the Golan Heights, where the local population is often used as a human shield against Hezbollah-smuggled missiles, which are being used to attack Israeli citizens. It’s quite plain to see, in fact, that Israel has legitimate security concerns.

We’re also not mute: in fact, the European Union has been very vocal in the past as a voice of peace and stability in the region. Israel is one of Europe’s closest allies and we share so many common values and common interests. What we need to do now is to advance a common bilateral agenda for deepening EU-Israeli ties, and it is critical that the newly elected Commission prioritise this. Working more closely together will not only advance peace, it will also help Europe reinforce its role as an honest and balanced broker of peace.

Finally, given the current political instability in Israel, I think that Parliament has to act responsibly and refrain from interfering in internal politics. We’re not deaf, blind or mute, but sometimes silence is golden.

Last updated: 23 January 2020Legal notice