Two European Parliament Members Opt out of Mideast Mission

Two members of the European Parliament will not join the parliamentary delegation that will head to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, the Jerusalem Post says.

Fiorello Provera of Italy and Bastiaan Belder of the Netherlands said they decided to withdraw because they see the delegation program as “too one-sided.”

Provera and Belder said their presence in the delegation “could lend legitimacy to a mission that stands contrary to what we were elected for – to promote dialogue, reconciliation and to seek a better understanding of the complexities and the difficult challenges that the parties face on the road to peace.”

Provera is the vice chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, while Belder chairs the parliament’s delegation with Israel.

The two urged the Foreign Affairs Committee to plan a new Israeli and Palestinian mission that considers the viewpoints of all parties involved.

Last week, parliamentary member Gabriele Albertini of Israel has also withdrawn from the mission. Albertini, heads the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the composition of the mission was not balanced.

“Rather than a peacekeeping mission, it looks like an anti-Israeli propaganda mission is being prepared,” she explained.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.