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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow Abbas' warning not to cut Gaza from a Palestinian State stirs EU's 2Gs concerns deeper than thought

Abbas' warning not to cut Gaza from a Palestinian State stirs EU's 2Gs concerns deeper than thought

Scritto da ACM
Wednesday, 04 February 2009

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EU chair, Czech Prime Minister Topolanek, may have guessed better than he thought when he recently said here that his "presidency (1 to 6/2009) will be marked by the 2 Gs : Gaza and Gas", revealed Abbas' and other Gaza debates and contacts in EU Parliament in Strasbourg...

The risk for Gaza to be cut off from a future Palestinian State was highlighted during Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas' visit, as well as at other debates on the sidelines, which focused on the dramatic Human victims on the spot, on how to create a new Palestinian Unity coalition and how to address Israel's Security concerns.

- All this "aims at separating Gaza from the other Palestinian lands", Abbas warned from the outset, asking "not to allow the Division of our People", and of "its Geographic Unity", but to act "against any attempt for Separation". Gaza must not be divided from the rest of our Palestinian Homeland, he stressed.

This was echoed also at another Gaza debate which linked together 2 key MEPs in Strasbourg and 2 Palestinian representatives in Gaza, from Fatah and Hamas, thanks to EU Parliament's TV-TeleConference links :

gaza_ep_debate_400

- "The problem, in Gaza is that Abbas has no control there", observed pro-Israeli MEP Goffrey Van Orden, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. And "we aren't speaking of 3 States, but of 2 States' solution", he reminded.

- "If there is no peace progress, but settlers and other occupation incidents continue, even West Bank could become like Gaza", warned a Fatah representative, receiving van Orden's agreement as far as settlements are concerned.

Nobody contested that Thousands of innocent Civilians killed, including many Children and Women, many Homes and half of the economic infrastructure destroyed in Gaza was "appalling". As well as that rockets fired earlier by Hamas against Israel were an error.

But views diverged mainly on responsibilities (was it Hamas' rockets or Israeli Army's   "disproportionate" reaction ?), and in certain key parts of the solution to bring.

Noone mentioned the fact that both the break-up of Oslo Peace proces back in 2000 and the recent 2007-2009 Gaza upheavals, occured shortly after findings that huge Gas deposits at Gulf of Mexico's deap Sea, similar to Eastern Mediteranean's geology, might be retrieved by modern methods...

maps_mexico_gulf_east_med._400

This obviously made of Gaza's Sea Coast a huge Energy stake. Geologists in a European/International Conference in Strasbourg since 2002, revealed to "EuroFora" that recent research (from 1998-2000), pointed towards probable big Gas findings allover from Egypt's coasts to Gaza, Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus' southern coast, from 1 to 2 km deep. And in 2006, former US President George Bush anounced that Gulf of Mexico's deep sea Gas findings (of similar geologic nature) would cover America's 50% energy needs

But it was yet unclear who might have manipulated whom, in the Middle East complex mig-mar, (added to the even larger complexity of GeoPolitical games played over Energy sources all over the World), and for what precise aims, in order to eventually provoke dramatic clashes hindering peaceful cooperation and sharing of new natural resources, (which might have facilitated a political solution).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .
Thus, chair of EU - Palestinian Legislative Council delegation, MEP Kyriakos Triantafyllides, focused on possibilities for a settlement through Palestinian Reconciliation, and a Government of National Unity able to agree with Israel on a renewed Peace proces, to bring the occupation towards an end, with many Arab countries ready to recognize Israel.

Echoeing EU Commissioner Michel, he also observed that EU raxpayers' money should not be spend for buildings risking to be destroyed again at a next clash. From now on, well beyond the urgent need for Humanitarian aid to arrive on the spot, the necessary Reconstruction should be  linked to steps towards Peace.

"Hamas is open to speak" and "should not be pushed to a corner", said a former Hamas' spokesman, who claimed, however, that Fatah "got nothing" after recognizing Israel, apparently preferring to keep that move as a last card to play. He also expected "from the Obama Administration to be more productive"."

Of course Hamas can play a role in the future when it stands up to a peaceful proces. But there is no justification for the rockets fired at Israel", said EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering.

Van Orden, speaking to "EuroFora" stressed that a key was to find a guarantee for Israel's "Security concerns", mainly weapons smuglling and rockets.

Abbas (as well as Hamas) supported EU playing also a Political role, and asked to "send International forces to protect our People", even if an EU-led International Peace force was not yet explicitly mentioned.

Since the 2006 Lebanon crisis, an International Peace-keeping force led by France, including a Maritime fleet headed by Germany and headquarted in Cyprus, keep an efficient presence at the surrounding area.

EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, reminded interesting political talks he had with Syrian President Assad Jr. and others  "on July" 2008, "in Paris"' EU - Mediterranean Summit.

Meanwhile, the Diplomatic organizer of Paris' Mediterranean Summit, French President Sarkozy's former councellor, Alain Le Roy, became the new UN under-Secretary General in charge of International Peace keeping operations all over the World..

A Turkish Media attempt to push Ankara in the already complicated and dramatic scene at the former Ottoman Empire area, by exploiting a verbal exchange between Turkish prime minister Erdogan and Israeli president Peres at Davos luxurius Holiday ressort, was rather downplayed by Abbas, apparently focused more towards the Future than to the Past :

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He only mentioned "Syria - Israel" negotiations with Turkey's mediation in this regard, and agreed that Turkey could play a role "as in the Past". As for Davos, he carefully referred "to Media sources", to find out what really happened.

Strasbourg contacts, including a Middle-East Committee meeting with Abbas and others, exceptionally behind closed doors "in camera", and a Cultural spectacle on a Palestinian Poet (curiously overburdened by local "Security" obstacles), paved the way to a series of EU steps in the forthcoming weeks, including a visit by EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering in Gaza, in close coordination with EU Council and Commissioner Ferrero Waldner's moves.

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(Note on the Middle East : "EuroFora"'s current editors acknowledge that they are not fluent in Middle East politics, which are extremely complex from the Political point of view, and tragic from a Humanitarian point of view. Thus, and at least for the moment, any mention or (involuntary) ommission of facts should not be perceived by any readers as an expression of taking one or another stance. "EuroFora"s aim is not at all to take any stance, but only to find and publish Topical News on Facts able to stimulate Public Debate.)
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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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