Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-09-26-Speech-1-081-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, this Agreement is, without doubt, a question of us taking a step together towards improving the everyday life of the people in the Palestinian Territories. Trade can – as in many other examples, too – play a part in this. However, we should not overestimate the value of trade here. This Agreement will hopefully improve the situation, but it will not happen automatically. After all, all of the questions that lie behind this: who will actually conduct the trade? Which companies are involved? Who will retain the money? Will the money actually find its way into the pockets of workers and local people in need, or will it make certain cliques that also exist in these territories richer? All of these are questions to which we, unfortunately, cannot provide any answers here. However, there is something that I believe is important – and several previous speakers have already mentioned this: it annoys me how distinctions are regularly made by some fellow Members on the left of the House here and attempts are always made to heap the blame for the unfortunate and surely unbearable situation between Israel and the Palestinians onto one side. However, the many decades that we have already had to witness this conflict make it clear that the blame certainly does not lie exclusively with one side and that we cannot simply say that one side are the good guys and the other the villains that have to make all the possible concessions. That will get us nowhere. Therefore, Mr Schulz, when you say that the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) imposed one or two conditions in committee, it was quite definitely – and we said this repeatedly in committee – not our intention to call this Agreement into question. Quite the opposite. However, our issue with this was that, if things have been portrayed in an extremely simplified way in an explanatory statement to such a resolution – the explanatory statement simply portrayed the matter as if only the Israelis were to blame for the situation – there must be some way of amending it. I am very grateful to the rapporteur for the fact that we found a positive solution together, because it is also the case here that our preferences clearly lean towards the Palestinians, including in the areas governed by Hamas. Where Israel and the Agreement are concerned, I think that the other side is also called on to make some headway here."@en1

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