Tuesday 24 February 2009

Tzipi Livni bemoans European anti-Semitism

"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Tuesday expressed her concern over anti-Semitism in Europe during a meeting with visiting European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Livni called on the European Parliament as well as on European leaders to denounce anti-Semitic incidents and to encourage appropriate legislation prohibiting them.

"We cannot allow this ugly phenomenon to raise its head, and it is upon the leaders of Europe and the international community to use all the means at their disposal to loudly and clearly oppose it," Livni told Pöttering, who is in Israel leading a delegation of senior European Parliament members.

Livni went on to speak of Iran and its links to Middle East terror organizations, noting that "the international community must impose severe sanctions to prevent Iran from equipping itself with nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran will constitute a threat to the stability of the region and on the possibility of attaining peace in the Middle East."

The Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the continued isolation of Hamas and the adherence to the three Quartet principles regarding the organization. She also emphasized that Hamas rocket attacks prompted the recent IDF operation in Gaza and that Hamas alone was responsible for the suffering there.

Earlier, President Shimon Peres told Pöttering that European leaders must continue to publicly condemn Hamas and its actions rather than express support for dialogue, saying that otherwise, the Palestinian people would be doomed to continued exploitation at the hands of the Islamic rulers of Gaza.

Europe must recognize that Hamas is a dangerous, murderous terror group, and must end the sympathy and support for it immediately, he said.

Peres continued to press the issue during the meeting, saying that the conduct of the Europeans was preventing the continuation of the peace process, and was "misleading" the Palestinian population.

In response, the parliament president reaffirmed Europe's good intentions, but said that while his primary goal was the continuation of the peace process, positive steps must be taken in order to assure that the goal was achieved.

Europe needs and wants to see practical steps "on the ground," Pöttering told Peres, including trust-building measures between the two peoples.

To this, Peres again emphasized his point, telling the European parliament president that Hamas was a terror organization, and that Israel refuses to compromise in its war on terror.

Hamas is a murderous, extremist terror organization which is exploiting its poor people as human shields, he said, adding that Israel would continued to fight an "all-out war" on terror, while allowing the continued flow of food and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip."

Source: TJP

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