On Tuesday, a headline for Haaretz declared:
Jewish lobbying sways EU against support of Goldstone Gaza report
The article said:
Members of the European Parliament have backtracked from their plan to pass a resolution demanding implementation of the Goldstone report, in response to pressure from European Jewish leaders, Haaretz has learned.
After leaders of all the major EP parties had agreed on the wording of a draft demanding implementation of the controversial document – which accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza last year and proposed prosecuting Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court – the European Union’s legislative body was scheduled to vote on the measure Wednesday.
But Tuesday, leaders of the parties backed away from the draft, after the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, warned them that adopting it would seriously harm EU-Israel ties.
“It appears inconceivable that while the United Nations itself hasn’t yet officially adopted this report, the European Parliament, in this motion for a resolution, calls for and demands its implementation,” he wrote in a letter sent to the heads of major EP parties.
The joint motion for the resolution was removed from the plenary session’s agenda after the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) blocked it.
“The European Jewish Congress played an important role in blocking the legitimization of the Goldstone report,” an official from the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
That was Tuesday, but this is what actually happened on Wednesday:
Despite an intensive lobbying effort on the part of European Jewish groups, the European Parliament has endorsed the Goldstone report, the UN’s official investigation into the bombardment of the Gaza Strip in January 2009, a report that accuses Israel of war crimes and calls for the prosecution of Israeli officials in The Hague.
In a 335-to-287 vote splitting the house between left and right, MEPs backed a joint resolution from the centre left, far left, Greens and Liberals calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and the bloc’s member states to “publicly demand the implementation of [the report’s] recommendations and accountability for all violations of international law, including alleged war crimes.”
The report also said:
On Tuesday afternoon, the level of lobbying had reached such an extent that Irish socialist MEP Proinsias de Rossa, the chair of the chamber’s Palestinian Legislative Council liaison delegation, sent around his own email encouraging deputies not to buckle under the pressure.
“You are being bombarded with mails at present seeking to undermine your support for the the Goldstone Report in the vote tomorrow,” he said.
“Tomorrow’s vote is a test of the credibility of this parliament’s commitment to human rights irrespective of political considerations,” he continued. “The joint resolution is a fair and balanced position negotiated by all the main political groups. I appeal to you to support it.”
Imagine a similar turn of events in the US Congress. Just imagine…
(I guess it’s about as easy as imagining Congress including any socialist representatives or a Palestinian liaison group.)