The European Parliament has been playing an increasingly important role in supporting Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. It has also been highly critical in the past of Israel’s over-reaction to Hamas and its wanton destruction of the civilian infrastructure in Gaza.
So we were surprised to see that the newly elected Green MEP for the South West, Dr. Molly Scott Cato, had voted against an EU resolution in September condemning the latest attacks on Gaza in operation Protective Edge. We wrote to ask her why.
We have now received a very full reply on Molly’s behalf setting out both her own views and those of the group of UK Green MEPs. It explains that the decision to vote against the September resolution was because it didn’t go far enough. For example, Molly is also calling for a comprehensive arms embargo throughout the region, the immediate lifting of the Gaza blockade and termination of Tony Blair’s role as ‘Peace Envoy’ for the Middle East.
Coincidentally, we have also been sent a copy of a reply from another South West MEP, the Conservative Ashley Fox, responding to a request that he support the calls being made for a suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. This strikes a very different note, starting with “Hamas is a terrorist organisation. lt deliberately provoked an Israeli military response whilst sheltering behind the people that it professes to protect in the knowledge that many of them would be killed in the violence.” Mr. Fox did, however, vote in favour of the September resolution as did our other Conservative MEP, Julie Girling .
We are still trying to elicit the views of UKIP given that they also have two MEPs representing the South West. Previous requests to the self-styled ‘Earl of Independence’ – a.k.a. William the Earl of Dartmouth – went unanswered but we will try again. And we will write to Claire Moody, the Region’s one Labour MEP . Also newly elected in 2014, she too voted in support of the September resolution.
More to follow when we get a response.