Israel bans European parliamentarian who worked with terror supporters

Manu Pineda is a Spanish communist member of the European Parliament who lived in Gaza and worked with a Palestinian terror-sympathizing organization.

 Manu Pineda (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Manu Pineda
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Manu Pineda, a Spanish communist Member of the European Parliament who lived in Gaza and associates with Hamas and PFLP terrorists was banned from entering Israel last week.

A letter on Thursday from the Israeli delegation to the European Union to a delegation of MEPs planning to visit the Palestinian Authority said that, “From information received from the competent authorities in Israel regarding the request for the arrival of Mr. Manu Pineda, the [Foreign] Ministry wishes to update the Delegation of the European Union that Mr. Pineda’s arrival to the State of Israel was not approved.”

The MEP’s visit was rejected in light of his “anti-Israel activities,” a diplomatic source said.

Pineda had previously led a delegation to the PA in February 2020, and was given a letter at the end of his visit that further trips to Israel would be pending advance authorization.

The diplomatic source said that Israel, like any other state, has the right to determine who enters its borders and certainly does in the case of someone who calls to boycott the Jewish state.

 Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) celebrate the decision of the Palestinian Authority's High Court, which ordered the release on Monday their leader Ahmed Sa'adat, out side the court in Gaza Strip June 3, 2002. (credit:  REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah AJ/CRB) Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) celebrate the decision of the Palestinian Authority's High Court, which ordered the release on Monday their leader Ahmed Sa'adat, out side the court in Gaza Strip June 3, 2002. (credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah AJ/CRB)

Israeli law specifically allows the government to bar supporters of boycotting Israel from entering the country.

Pineda, a leader of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, moved to Gaza in 2011, where he worked as a “brigade member” of Unadikum, which aims to “end Gaza being the world’s largest prison.” The organization supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and expressed support for senior members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terrorist group by the EU.

Pineda has also met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and senior PFLP members Khaled Barakat and Ismat Shakhshir.

Pineda has also accused Israel on social media of being a Nazi entity and committing genocide.

The MEP said the mission, which was canceled after he was not allowed to enter Israel, “planned to meet with the Palestinian authorities and civil society, to see on the ground consequences of the occupation on the daily life of the Palestinian population, as well as to see the effects of the EU’s cooperation policies.”

“Israel is blocking the work of the European Parliament,” he lamented.

Pineda had previously led a delegation to the PA in February 2020.

News of Pineda’s ban came on Sunday as European Parliament President Roberta Metsola arrived in Israel, where she was set to meet with President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy and others.

“I regret the decision to refuse entry to Israel to Manu Pineda, the Chair of the [European Parliament] Delegation for relations with Palestine,” Metsola tweeted. “I will raise the issue directly with authorities concerned. Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations.”

Pineda responded, “Thank you, President. It is important that we are united to defend the European Parliament. Now it is time to apply reciprocity in our institution until the decision is reversed.”

Spain-based pro-Israel organization Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM) tweeted that the European Parliament and Metsola “should rather be concerned about having a member who, unchallenged, openly collaborates with terrorist groups (as defined by the EU), using its position to cooperate with murderers of Israelis and Jews. Shame on you.”

In 2019, Israel banned US representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar following their vote against condemning the BDS movement. Their visit was organized by MIFTAH, which had previously spread the antisemitic blood libel.