It was a bit worse than is portrayed here. The vote was taken at the request of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left and supported by the Greens/European Free Alliance and European Socialists to vote for the isolation of Israel. The vote, 194 in favor of the postponement against 173, is seen in the parliament as a "sanction" against Israel for its blockade of the Gaza Strip. In other words, it is a vote of confidence for the Hamas. (A.I.)Israel rebuffed by Europe
The European Parliament postponed a decision this week about whether to upgrade its ties with Israel, ostensibly because of Israel's recent actions on the West Bank. While Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Brussels urging European nations to change their "outdated" perception of the Jewish state, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad warned the E.U. against boosting ties, citing the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process. A top German member of the European Parliament criticized the postponement....
- European Parliament should proceed to ratification in January.
Elmar Brok MEP, foreign policy coordinator of the European People's Party (EPP), has strongly criticised the postponement of the ratification of a protocol on Israeli participation in European Union programmes.
"This gives the wrong signal and does not contribute to the stabilisation of the region", he commented after the EP-plenary decision.
Brok also criticised the reason that was given for the postponement of the decision, namely the situation in the Gaza Strip, as this means supporting the illegal Hamas regime which is decisively responsible for the situation in Gaza and the shelling of Israel.
The German MEP therefore advised the European Parliament to launch a new ratification process in January 2009.