EU lawmakers fail to declare freebies from Israel lobby

The EU’s main institutions are in cahoots with Israel and its professional lobbyists. 

Fred Marvaux European Union

The propaganda activities of the pro-Israel network can be quite crude.

Big players in that lobby recently arranged for Richard Kemp, a retired British Army colonel, to visit the European Parliament.

Kemp presented an argument about the ratio between the civilian to combatant death toll in Gaza. Taking that ratio into account, he contended that Israel is now killing fewer civilians than the US and their allies killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given that his calculations are largely based on dubious Israeli data, everything he said should be treated with skepticism. Besides, claiming that Israel is less violent than the US and its allies isn’t the cleverest tactic.

Britain was America’s junior partner during the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Kemp himself became commander of the British troops in Kabul during 2003 and later assisted the US occupation of Iraq.

His argument can, therefore, be interpreted as a confession that he was directly involved in the mass slaughter of civilians. He has hinted at that previously by admitting in 2015 that “on some occasions, I have disobeyed the rules of engagement.”

Kemp’s recent visit was co-hosted by the Brussels office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

A leading pro-Israel group, the AJC has been encouraging lawmakers to take a position in favor of the genocidal war against Gaza (while denying that a genocide is taking place).

If the European Parliament took its own policies seriously, the AJC would be shunned.

Foreign interference

Following a corruption scandal known as Qatargate which began in December 2022, the European Parliament pledged to push back against foreign interference in its work.

Not everyone is taking that pledge seriously.

In late October, the AJC arranged for a delegation of lawmakers to visit Israel. Among the participants in that trip was Eleni Stavrou, a Cypriot member of the European Parliament.

More than three months later, Stavrou has still not declared her acceptance of the AJC’s hospitality on the European Parliament’s website – even though she is required to do so under transparency rules.

Although she referred to her visit during a subsequent parliamentary debate, Stavrou did not mention who picked up the tab for it.

Pampered

The European Leadership Network – another pro-Israel outfit – organized a similar visit in October.

Three members of the European Parliament known to have participated in that trip have not yet formally declared their involvement.

The three are Nadine Morano and Ilana Cicurel from France and their Austrian colleague Lukas Mandl.

Some other participants in the trip were a little more open.

A declaration by the Bulgarian lawmaker Elena Yoncheva reveals that she spent three nights in the Royal Beach Tel Aviv, courtesy of the European Leadership Network.

The Royal Beach markets itself as “one of the best luxury hotels” in the city.

That says it all: At a time when Palestinians were being butchered in Gaza, several members of the European Parliament were being pampered in Tel Aviv.

The European Leadership Network has extremely close ties to the Israeli state. Sharon Regev, one of the group’s staff, is married to Haim Regev, Israel’s ambassador in Brussels.

Qatargate is not the hot topic of conversation among the European Union cognoscenti that it was a year ago. The shock – much of it feigned – over allegations that Qatar was trying to buy influence has dissipated.

The pledge to end foreign interference has proven hollow. The EU’s main institutions are in cahoots with Israel and its army of professional lobbyists.

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These are people who rummage through their bank accounts when asked to show a bit of conscience.

They're nothing more than camp followers of neoliberalism, the doctrine that says we should run our governments as if they were business concerns. But they have no answer when we point out that corporations go bankrupt. They're frequently looted by their officers. They're subjected to hostile takeovers. They lie, cheat and steal from shareholders. They break every law and scorn every restraint. They thrive on needs they themselves generate or seize upon, immiserating humanity along the way. And they live by making war.

With a few notable exceptions, EU lawmakers are perfect representatives of a system designed to wreck the planet and dash the hopes of the oppressed. That they welcome the hospitality of a pack of genocidal maniacs should come as no surprise. Thanks to David Cronin we at least have regular insight into this steaming morass of corruption.

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