The Council of Europe in its headquarters in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday adopted a vicious, anti-Israeli resolution, ignoring every conceivable bit of historic context regarding the 2014 Gaza war and condemning the Jewish State of “systematic unlawful killings” of Arabs. The vote was 46 votes in favor, 12 against, two abstentions.
The resolution called for an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza with the cooperation of Egypt, expressing alarm over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
It should be noted that the Council of Europe is distinct from the 28-nation European Union (EU), although many confuse the two, partly because the EU has adopted the original European Flag which was created by the Council of Europe in 1955, as well as the European Anthem. Also, all the current EU members first belonged to the CU. But that’s where the similarities end, and Tuesday’s CU vote has no bearing on EU policy, at last for the time being.
The extremely one-sided resolution was drafted based on a report by Swedish MP Eva-Lena Jansson, a member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which shares a coalition government with the Green Party. It was adopted despite heartbreaking speeches by Israeli MKs Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) and Eli Elalouf (Kulanu).
MK Lavie confronted Jansson in her speech, saying her report was “based on hearsay and not on facts. We extracted our citizens, even our dead, in 2005, from Gaza, and in return we were immediately blasted with rockets.”
Lavie continued: “Israel provides a third of the Strip’s electricity, to the tune of $1 billion with no compensation. 130,000 Palestinians received free medical care in israel last year, including the relatives of [Hamas Prime Minister] Ismail Haniya, and we are the ones you blame for the humanitarian crisis?”
“Where are the millions the European Council has sent the Palestinians to rehabilitate the Strip? Where has the money gone?” Lavie asked.
The report, citing as its source a Palestinian NGO, charged Israel with “excessive and intentional force without justification against Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone, including against farmers, journalists, medical crews, and peaceful protesters, [which] runs blatantly counter to human rights principles and the international law-enforcement standards. […] Cases of the deliberate fatal shooting of individuals who posed no imminent danger to life amounts to an appalling pattern of apparently systematic unlawful killings.”
The report said Israel killed 136 Arabs in the buffer zone, including 20 children, since 2010. It also blames Israel for “unwarrantable” shootings against Gaza fishermen, reducing them “to severe poverty and unemployment.”
And, of course, the same report blamed Israel for its response to barrages of rockets from Gaza against its civilian population (which it doesn’t mention, naturally), saying “it is estimated that over 12,620 houses were totally destroyed [in Gaza] and 6,455 severely damaged. 17,650 families or about 100,000 persons were displaced.”