I apologize for the awful delay, but unfortunately I was not well on the weekend, and I could not give you my summary of the Goldstone debate from the plenary session.
So here goes, well, it’s like this, many Israeli insiders reported their amazement at the balanced nature of the discussions. The debate followed talks on the reform of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Council has been lambasted-and deservedly so-for allowing human rights violators to sit as full members, without a hint of scrutiny on the part of other members.
The Goldstone Report has been divisive, and its legitimacy questioned due to its source: the UNHRC. Therefore, the EU believed that it could pick up the pieces and decide on a way forward.
MEPs of all colours and flavours gave their two cents on the issue. Véronique De Keyser from the S+D group called the report “brave one”, and said that there is pressure to discredit Judge Goldstone: “They want to drag him through the mud”. She also said that instead of military tribunals, there needs to be international enquiries.
On the other hand, Michał Kamiński from the ECR said that the report came from a “suspicious source” and “unbalanced”.
Caroline Lucas from the Greens said that the in reference to Gaza, the seige must be lifted, and appeared visibly frustrated that the Council had not adopted the recommendations of the Report.
Bastiaan Belder of the EFD group asked the question: “when will Hamas start investigating its own actions?”.
There was a clear split between the left and right, but overall there was a balance of opinions. Tomorrow there will be more rumblings regarding the Palestinian/Israeli crisis. The European Parliament Israel Delegation and the European Parliament Palestinian Legislative Council Delegation will be meeting in the afternoon.. There will be an exchange of voices with the One Voice Movement, which works to bring together moderate voices from both sides. I am curious to hear what they have to say.
One of the best things about the Parliament is the abundance of water bottles that one can collect. At every meeting, big or small, one can find a nice handbag-size bottle of water. My preference is for sparking, but usually I have to settle with still.