Responding to the speech by Israeli President Shimon Peres in the European Parliament, MEP Phil Bennion welcomed his ‘positive remarks’ on the potential for reconciliation but urged Israel’s new government to take the necessary action to get peace talks moving once more.
The West Midlands MEP, a member of the Parliament’s Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, welcomed Mr Peres’ statement that ‘peace between Israel and Palestine is possible’ and that remaining ‘disputed issues can and should be negotiated as soon as possible.’
Phil Bennion added: “I urge him and Israel’s new government once it is formed to heed the advice of the EU and other friends of Israel across the world to ‘do what it takes’ to get a genuine peace process moving once again.
“Israel’s security can only be enhanced if the government ends new settlements and dismantles illegal ones in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
“Terrorism can never be justified and the EU abhors rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at civilians or blowing up buses in Israel, Bulgaria or anywhere else. Israeli citizens have a right to peace and security, just like any others.
“This Parliament has also spoken out over the issue of Palestinian political prisoners and deplored terrorist acts, whether they can be ascribed to Hezbollah or any other organization. But governments are also obliged to refrain from terrorist acts. Targeted killings have no place outside international warfare. Administrative detention also threatens human rights and creates a barrier in the search for peace.
“We need to find new ways of building a lasting peace process while maintaining security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”.
“I hope and believe that Mr Peres is paying more than lip-service to the prospects for peace. I would like to assure him and other Israeli politicians of whatever party that the EU will do all it can to support courageous initiatives by the new government to break the log-jam”.
The full text of the Peres’ address can be read here: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/full-text-of-peres-speech-to-european-parliament-1.508915