Congress members urge EU Parliament on U.N. committee


More than 30 U.S. members of Congress signed on to a letter urging the European Parliament to end its cooperation with a U.N. committee for Palestinian issues.

Israel has protested the European Parliament’s plans to a host a forum at the end of the month to be led by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

“It is our hope that the European Parliament will continue to serve as a proponent of open and fair dialogue that will benefit both Palestinians and Israelis,” says the letter initiated by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and signed by 32 Republicans and Democrats, including Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the majority leader, and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the deputy minority whip. “To this end, we urge you to end any cooperation with this openly biased Committee and to continue to work with Members of Congress to create the conditions conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East.”

The forum is ostensibly aimed at promoting Israeli Palestinian peace, but the rights committee is one of several at the United Nations that Israel sees as intractably biased. “The European Parliament is giving legitimacy to a group that has a nihilistic agenda,” Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told JTA.
In the past, some U.S. Congress members have threatened to pull some U.S. funds from the United Nations until the pro-Palestinian committees are dissolved.

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