Rights and Accountability 27 May 2020
A major Israel lobby group – alarmed by an uncontrolled outbreak of honest and accurate language – quickly condemned Wallace’s statements as “vile.”
The pro-war AJC Transatlantic Institute, the Brussels wing of the American Jewish Committee, demanded that Wallace’s left-wing parliamentary grouping “withdraw” his words.Wallace was speaking at a hearing of the parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence, where he confronted European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell over the 27-nation bloc’s failure to hold Israel accountable.
The Irish member highlighted Israel’s planned annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank.
Wallace reminded Borrell that on 4 February, the EU had warned Israel that “Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”
“Do you stand by that statement,” Wallace asked, and queried whether EU measures would include suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement – a generous trade and cooperation deal – “whose validity is predicated on Israel’s respect for human rights and international law.”Wallace also pointed out another glaring inconsistency in EU policy: “Why has the EU restricted exports and imports from the Crimea, which it says is illegally annexed territory, while it continues to allow Israel to export goods from illegally annexed and occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories?”
The Irish member made broader criticisms of the EU’s insistence on the failed two-state solution.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we actually had a democratic state for Jews and Palestinians between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean?” Wallace asked.
“Right now, the two-state solution is dead, the [existing] one-state one is an apartheid state. Zionism is a colonialist project.”
Borrell dodged Wallace’s specific questions, but acknowledged that there is a deep split within the bloc.
While all EU governments are strongly pro-Israel, there are slight nuances.
Borrell noted that 25 out of 27 governments had approved a recent statement that Israeli annexation of occupied territories would be contrary to international law.
But two countries – Austria and Hungary – refused to sign on.
Yet even the statement backed by the 25 fails to warn of any specific consequences for the massive amounts of EU support Israel receives.
Palestinians demand sanctions
At Tuesday’s hearing, Borrell would not be drawn on any sanctions Israel could face.
He pledged that the EU would “engage all of our diplomatic capacities in order to prevent” annexation but that if Israel proceeded, “we will have to study carefully [what] could be the answer both at the governmental level and at the [EU] level.
For the time being, he added, “I think it’s good not to anticipate events, just to state clearly what we have already stated.”
This hardly inspires confidence, since for decades, EU “diplomatic capacities” have amounted to occasional bleats of “concern” about Israel’s actions, while continuing to shower it with trade and aid.
Meanwhile, Palestinians are stepping up demands for real measures to hold Israel accountable.
Last week, dozens of Palestinian civil society organizations, including professional associations, unions, human rights and advocacy groups issued a call on governments to adopt “effective countermeasures, including sanctions” to “stop Israel’s illegal annexation of the occupied West Bank and grave violations of human rights.”
Their demands include an embargo on arms and military cooperation, suspension of free trade agreements and a prohibition on trade with Israel’s settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
They also call on governments to “ensure that individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid are brought to justice.”
- European Parliament
- European Union
- Josep Borrell
- AJC Transatlantic Institute
- one-state solution
- Mick Wallace
Permalink Peter Purich replied on
Well done, Mick Wallace! The only sane member of the EU.
Permalink david lyons replied on
Bravo! Mick Wallace. Spoken like a true man. A pity the rest of the political cowards in the EU and English,Welsh and Irish parliaments lack your character. Well done indeed.
Permalink Frank Dallas replied on
No surprise that this intervention should come from a representative of a country which has suffered at the hands of colonialism. The English (first) and then British exploitation and dehumanisation of the Irish stands forever as a crime against humanity. The parallels with Palestine are striking. The Irish were depicted, well into the 20th century, as ignorant, drunken, brutal, ineducable, untrustworthy, lecherous - all the things, as a matter of fact, that their British oppressors were. Just as the Palestinians are depicted as violent, perfidious and morally debased: exactly what their Israeli oppressors are. Further, the "justification" for the British oppression of the Irish was that Ireland was a waste land, an uncultivated place of wild men and women who had no idea how to husband it and make it productive: just as the Israelis perpetuate the myth of "a land without people for a people without land". What is truly despicable is the attempt to silence Wallace. He is elected. He is a man of principle. He has a right to speak. If the AJC or any other body can produce the evidence that what Wallace says is wrong, let them do so. Where is the evidence that Zionism represents the "liberation" of the Jewish people? Liberation from what? Not even the Nazi genocide excuses the ethnic cleansing of nearly a million Palestinians and their systematic oppression and humiliation. That is not liberation it is self-destruction. Judah Magnes, the dissident Zionist said: "The slogan the Jewish State...is equivalent to..the declaration of war by the Jews on the Arabs." Hitler included in a famous speech: "..this white race was of the conviction that it had a right to organise the rest of the world." Begin declared Israel's ambition "to organise the whole world." It is remarkable how often Zionist rhetoric echoes that of the Jews' worst oppressor. There is much injustice, but Israel is unique. Nowhere else is an entire people deprived of its land and brutalised. Well done,Mick W.
Speak out in EU forums
Permalink Carl Zaisser replied on
We need more MEPs speaking out like MEP Mick Wallace just has. The reality on the ground is such that no one pretending to have a conscience can be silent in the face of what Israel has been doing to Palestinians...and it's going to get a lot uglier, since 'two-states' has been dead since Camp David 2000: that was the last chance the US and Israel had to prove to Palestinians and to the world that the REALLY wanted a just settlement based on two independent states. The Oslo hoax was finally revealed for what it was. Just talk and lies. Keep kicking your heels.
Israeli human rights abuses
Permalink Edward Horgan replied on
Well done Mick Wallace - speaking truth to abuses of power and to gross abuses of human rights
Truth to Power
Permalink Jack T replied on
It's so refreshing to see a politician such as Mick Wallace articulate plainly without compromise a truth which the vast majority of us accept - Zionism is colonialist racism.
Biden's racism & Pro-War policies
Permalink Eleanor Ommani replied on
I just posted the following on FB:
I oppose those Democratic Elites pushing Biden as the country's "Savior"; the MainStreamMedia (MSM) hides much of his pro-war politics: he not only supports the oppression of Palestinians, calling himself "more Israeli than some Jews" he pushed for the dismemberment of Iraq to ensure USA could STEAL Iraqi's Oil and Gas Fields! There will be alternative Candidates to vote for...I'm NOT HOLDING MY NOSE & supporting him!!
Truth to power
Permalink Eric replied on
Here is a clear demonstration of why Ireland and Norway -- not Canada -- deserve Security Council seats when the General Assembly chooses new rotating members next month. Hardly a word of Wallace's statement would be allowed by any party in Canada's parliament, while the government just can't do enough for Israel.
Wallace exposes EU hypocrisy in banning imports from Crimea while doing nothing about imports from stolen Palestinian land. Canada is even worse: the Trudeau government is fighting a court ruling that wine produced in Israeli-occupied 'settlements' -- which Canada, like the EU, pretends not to recognize as Israel's -- should be labelled accurately as to country of origin (it's now 'product of Israel'). Trudeau and deputy PM Chrystia Freeland have so little regard for their own country's sovereignty that they claim a 'free trade' deal with Israel overrides a Canadian law that requires accurate information for consumers.
Mr wallace is right isreal is an apartheid state
Permalink John mcdonnell replied on
Mep for ireland mr.wallace is dam right to call isreal A MURDEROUS CALLOUS STATE DENYING PALESTINIANS THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO SELF GOVERNACE AND DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS THAT I AS A CHRISTIAN ENJOY IN MY HOMELAND.....BUT I WONT RECOGNISE ISREAL AS EUROPEAN OR ALLOW EU TAXES TO PROP UP THE BUILDING OF ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS IN A LAND NOT THERES
MY COUNTRY UNOQUIVOCALY SHOULD DEMAND WE NOT PURCHASE GOODS AS IRELAND DID IN THE 80s V southafrican apartheid
I fully denounce zionism as that a BLOOD LETTING CALIPHATE OF ITS OWN AND I MYSELF WILL NO LONGER MOURN IN EMPATHY FOR WW2 COMMERATIONS WHILST ISREAL MURDERS MEN WOMEN CHILDEREN WITH IMPUNITY
MR WALLACE HAS OUR SUPPORT
Israel and PalestineMick
Permalink Robin Turner replied on
Mick Wallace is the first person that I have come across who has expressed a view similar to my own on the issue of Israel and Palestine regarding a two or one state "solution".
My view is as follows:
A two state solution would never be accepted by the fanatics on all sides and they would create instability. It could be a step to a better and permanent solution however.
I suspect that a unitary one state solution which guaranteed equality on all issues and with no executions and amputations etc. could work. The state would include the following areas:
The West Bank,
The Golan Heights.
The state would have to be accepted and guaranteed by all the neighbouring states and also Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Those states plus the USA would probably have to force the relevant states and communities to negotiate the solution. There may not be a polite way to do that.
The example of the European Union states or their predecessors not having been at war with each other since year 1945 should be presented to all involved.
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