The Palestinian delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s assembly in Geneva successfully passed an anti-Israel and anti-US resolution on Sunday evening, despite Israeli efforts.
The Palestinian Authority, Kuwait and Bahrain proposed three emergency items calling to condemn Israel and the US for the announcement that the US Embassy would move to Jerusalem, and for the US cutting funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
In response, Israel proposed that the IPU condemn Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism in the Middle East.
The IPU is a forum of members of legislatures from 176 countries.
The MKs worked all weekend to prevent the passing of the resolutions against Israel and the US, meeting with representatives from Argentina, France, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and other countries.
In the end, the Palestinian effort succeeded and the Israeli initiative was voted down.
During the debate, Palestinian representative Azam al-Ahmed waved a photo of Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian sentenced to eight months in prison for assaulting IDF soldiers stationed outside her home. The Palestinian delegation also distributed brochures calling for “Freedom for Ahed Tamimi, freedom for Palestine.”
The Iranian delegation spoke out against “the crimes of the Israeli occupation,” and said the US decision would cause violence.
The Israeli delegation’s leader, MK Nachman Shai of Zionist Union, spoke out against Iran getting a representative onto the IPU’s committee to fight terrorism, which he called “absurd.”
“The time has come to put a spotlight on Iran and say the truth: Iran is a terrorist state,” Shai stated. “Would you let a pyromaniac be the commander of a firefighting squad in your city? That’s what this organization is doing.”
In addition, this IPU assembly marks the first time in 17 years in which it did not hold any discussions accusing Israel of human rights violations.
On Friday, Yesh Atid lawmaker Haim Jelin became the first Israeli on the IPU’s Peace and International Security Committee in Geneva.
Jelin will represent 47 countries, including most of Europe, Australia and Canada.
The Argentina-born MK, who lived in kibbutzim in the area of the Gaza Strip for much of his time in Israel, presented a peace dove made out of pieces of a Kassam rocket shot from Gaza into Israel to the committee.
“I will continue to act for human rights while fighting an uncompromising war against terror and for the State of Israel,” he said.