Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that declarations by outsiders such as Europeans, Americans, Russians and jihadists cannot make peace happen in Israel and Palestine. Only the Israelis and Palestinians can do it. Yet, developments in the area are having a powerful impact on the world we live in. Furthermore, Dr Sant said that on the one hand there is despair and deep rage, and on the other there is a determination to maintain at all costs full control over Palestine. Dr Sant believes that if peace is to be ever achieved, the only way out is for the dominant side to make concessions on major make-or-break issues, within well-defined limits. It needs to show good faith in doing so. Sant said that those who are equally the friends of Jews and Palestinians must again condemn the recent attacks on Israeli churchgoers and balance this with disapproval of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians.
Alfred Sant stated that the make-or-break issue now is the spread of Jewish settlements with the full connivance of the government. Since the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, successive Israeli governments have demonstrated neither political will nor good faith in dealing with make-or-break issues. Sant said that unless this changes, both sides are condemned to keep living their epiphany of hate and despair.
Alfred Sant gave his contribution on the subject in a discussion which was focused on whether all political parties within the European Parliament can agree on a common approach for the European Union’s 28 member states on a uniltateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Originally a vote about the issue should have been taken on the 27th of November. Although the S&D group was very much in favour of this vote, it was postponed to December due to pressure by other political parties.
In a separate statement, Gianni Pittella, President of the S&D group was in line with Sant’s thoughts and also condemned the settlements by the Israelis.