Israel softens EU council flotilla criticism

Turkish effort to issue condemnation of Israeli operation thwarted.

June 25, 2010 02:39
2 minute read.
An IDF solider beaten after boarding the Gaza prot

IDFsoliderbeatenOnFlotilla311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson.)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

An Israeli parliamentary delegation successfully lobbied the Council of Europe to thwart a Turkish effort Thursday to issue a condemnation of Israel’s response to the May 31 Gaza flotilla. It also blocked a Turkish bid to establish an international investigative committee within the framework of the Council.

The council’s final motion contained calls on Hamas to permit visits to kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, and described Israel’s response to the flotilla as “manifestly disproportionate” and a breach of international law.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

”We managed to get them to refrain from condemning Israel and from taking an operative decision to establish an investigative committee,” said MK Yochanan Plesner (Kadima), the head of the Knesset’s delegation to the Council of Europe. “Instead, they made do with a general statement that there should be an international probe, but also recognized the Israeli committee [investigating the incident]. We made sure to add mentions of Gilad Schalit and a call for him to be given visits from the Red Cross.”

On the down side, noted Plesner,“they called for a full lifting of the blockade, showing that Israel’s decision to relax the blockade was not marketed correctly by the government. They simply said that they ’took note’ of the relaxed terms, but did not congratulate or welcome anything positive.”

Plesner said that the Turkish delegation – which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe – “went out to a coordinated battle, but others in the council understood that the Turkish matter is more complex and didn’t necessarily get drawn into it.”

The president of the council, according to Plesner, said earlier in an interview with a Turkish newspaper that he intended to establish an international investigation within the framework of the council.

Despite the lack of support for the Turkish initiative, Plesner said that “the attitude even among our friends was difficult. I wanted to include mentions of the fact that the flotilla wasn’t entirely humanitarian and that the participants weren't all peace activists, but there was no support for that.”

The final motion, Plesner complained, “is paradoxical in that it calls for giving the Israeli investigative committee a chance, but on the other hand already came to the conclusion that Israel’s actions violated international law.”

The Strasburg-based Council of Europe is an inter-parliamentary group consisting of over 500 delegates representing 50 European countries. Israel has held observer status for decades at the council, which is currently holding its summer session.

Related Content

Angela Merkel
August 21, 2018
More refugees find jobs in Germany, integration going 'pretty well'