“I don’t know what to say..”

Yesterday a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) had an exchange of views with US Ambassador William Kennard on EU-US Trade relations.

Joe Higgins, Irish Socialist Party MEP, confronted the American Ambassador over his country’s trading relationship with Israel:

Is trade still a value-free activity that must not involve human rights and other rights?

Or what has significantly changed in the new administration?

And if something has significantly changed, why does your administration still continue to give massively favourable economic support and treatment to states that violate, blatantly, human rights, including Israel and what will the outcome be of the disaster and the massacre of people bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza?

And will that make any change to how you trade with the state of Israel, for example?

Trancript here. Video here

Part of Ambassador Kennard’s answer to those questions is the blog title.

Israel, I apologise, I did not address that.

Yesterday, we all witnessed a tragedy on the high seas involving an effort to bring supplies of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The President immediately issued a statement.

I don’t know what to say other than, before we draw any conclusions, we need to figure out what happened.

I think that anytime something like this happens, it’s important to understand what are the facts, what really happened and then deal with it appropriately.

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  • Alias

    “…continue to give massively favourable economic support and treatment to states that violate, blatantly, human rights…”

    Actually, the US suspended its foreign assistance program in Gaza Strip when its ‘peaceful’ citizens elected a terrorist regime in March 2006, but Mr Higgens isn’t concerned about “states that violate, blatantly, human rights” because he is a ardent supporter of one and it would not enter his mind to ever condemn terrorist states and those who vote for such dispicable regimes – albeit voting for them under duress (Hamas have a nasty habit of murdering those voters and members of political parties who oppose them).

    The US has stated that its aid will not resume until Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government – which it has designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) – are no longer the elected ‘government’ in that region or until it renounces, among other things, its commitment to the destruction of the state of Israel and the use of terrorist violence.

  • JaneJeffers

    Let’s tally up the amount of people Hamas has murdered in recent years and the amount Israel has murdered in recent years, shall we.

  • Cynic

    You automatically define what Israel does as murder so we can see you are taking a very balanced approach

    The people of Gaza have chosen (or put up with) Hamas. That is their choice but such choices have consequences

  • Cynic

    The best use for Joe Higgins;’s party is as a comedy turn. Take this prime example from their website

    ” while the Visteon workers won a victory ….. it was not quite a full victory. The fact that the factory closed and the jobs and skills were lost meant the outcome represented only a partial victory”

    Yeah …a partial victory

    Up the workers!

  • vanhelsing

    ‘You automatically define what Israel does as murder so we can see you are taking a very balanced approach’…..common for some people on this site:)