10 March 2010
Leaders in the European Parliament have backtracked from a plan to pass a joint resolution demanding the implementation of the controversial report of the Goldstone Commission which probed the conduct of Israel and Hamas during last year’s war in Gaza. After leaders of all the major groups in the European Parliament had agreed on the wording of a draft demanding implementation of the report - which accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza last year and proposes trying Israeli officials before the International Criminal Court in The Hague – the assembly was scheduled to vote on the measure later on Wednesday.
However, on Tuesday, group leaders 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," Kantor wrote in a letter sent to the heads of all major political groups in the Strasbourg-based assembly. The joint motion for a 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 unnamed official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry was quoted by the ‘Haaretz’ newspaper as saying.
Instead of voting on one joint resolution, the parliamentarians may now vote on six different resolutions and stick with the one that gets the most votes. However, the draft expected to receive the most votes is that of the European People's Party, the largest group in the European Parliament. Instead of demanding the report's implementation, it calls for both Israel and Hamas to investigate accusations of war crimes.
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