A European Parliament committee canceled its planned visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority after Israeli officials refused to meet the group as long as a Nazi sympathizer was a member, and declined to allow them to visit arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.
The Foreign Ministry notified the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights that it would not meet with the group because it includes Estonian lawmaker Jaak Madison, leading to the trip’s cancelation on Thursday night.
“We clarified to the heads of the committee that we will not agree to hold official meetings with members of parliament who express opinions inspired by the Nazi worldview,” the Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “In the end, the committee chairman decided to cancel the visit to Israel.”
Madison has called for a “final solution” against immigration to Europe. In 2015, he wrote a blog post sympathizing with the Nazis, in which he said “it is true that there were concentration camps, forced labor camps, games with gas chambers…but at the same time, such strict order brought Germany at the time out of a thorough ‘s***hole.’” He called fascism “an ideology that consists of quite a few positive and necessary nuances to preserve the nation state.”
On the delegation’s schedule for next week was a meeting with Barghouti, a leader of the Tanzim terrorist group, who is serving five life sentences in Hadarim Prison for masterminding deadly terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, though Israeli authorities ultimately denied them permission to meet with him.
The Subcommittee on Human Rights, led by Belgian socialist MEP Maria Arena, also planned to meet with Qaddura Fares, President of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents scores of terrorists, as well as representatives of six Palestinian NGOs that Israel designated as terrorist organizations last year due to their extensive ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Though the EU considers the PFLP to be a terrorist group, nine member states released a statement this week rejecting Israel’s designation of the NGOs.
MEP Prof. Karol Karski of the European Conservatives and Reformists group welcomed the decision, in light of the planned meetings with Barghouti and Fares.
“Terrorism and support for it can never be legitimised or accepted.”MEP Prof Karol Karski welcomes that the ad-hoc visit of the @EP_HumanRights Committee to & the Palestinian territories due to take place from 17 to 21 July has been called off. https://t.co/Yn25VqMADd pic.twitter.com/I1ncuu1age— ECR Group (@ecrgroup) July 15, 2022
“It is simply unacceptable for representatives of the European Parliament to meet with terrorists and their supporters,” Karski said. “Terrorism and support for it can never be legitimized or accepted.”
Karski said that “it would have been of particular concern” if a committee meant to protect human rights “had met with murderers and terrorists or their representatives, legitimizing them as interlocutors as a result.”