Sunday, February 8, 2015

Europe: Cancellation of a meeting with Israeli general in the European parliament

A meeting in the European in Brussels with Israeli Major General Yoav Mordechai, commander of COGAT, was canceled earlier this week for "logistic reasons" and not after "political pressure" as some reports said.

"There was a lot of speculation about this meeting but it is not true that it was canceled because of political opposition," said Alessandro Cantagalli, assistant of Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello, the chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Israel in the EU parliament who had invited MEPs for a meeting and "exchange of views" with Maj. Gen. Mordechai.

The general was in Europe for meetings to discuss closer cooperation with Europe. He heads COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and was spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) between 2011 and 2013. COGAT constitutes the civilian authority for residential zoning and infrastructure and is responsible for addressing the needs of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Martusciello invited the members of his delegation but also MEPs of the delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council to the meeting.

"This would be an excellent opportunity to carry an open dialogue as well as raise issue of mutual interest," he wrote in his invitation. But some MEPs, especially from the Socialist and European Left groups, objected to the use of the terms "Judea and Samaria" in the invitation to describe the general responsbilities. "Maj. Gen. Mordechai is responsible for implementing the government’s policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip", the text mentioned.

Socialist MEP Ana Gomes from Portugal and her Northern Ireland (Sinn Fein) colleague Martina Anderson, who chairs the EU parliament delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, expressed "surprise" at the invitation. [...] [Both Gomes and Anderson called for the suspension of EU-Israel treaty.]

"Welcoming this man to the European Parliament would give legitimacy to the actions of the Israeli military against the Palestinian people," said Anderson, a member of the European Left group.

More: EJP

No comments :

Post a Comment