New Israel ranking vote in the European Parliament ahead of June EU elections

Central and Eastern European member states who have lived under totalitarian rule are more supportive of Israel than EU member states in Western Europe.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group got the highest score (92,30) followed by Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European People’s Party(EPP). The Greens and the Left groups are on the bottom of the ranking (11,52 for the Left). According to the polls, the ECR group is going to increase its number of seats in the next parliament.

On the political party scene the right-wing opposition party Vox in Spain had the highest score (98,74), ahead of Civic Forum in Czechia, the Swedish Democrats in Sweden and the Reformed Party of the Netherlands, all part of the conservative ECR group. At the very bottom of the ranking we find national parties on the extreme left from countries such as Ireland (Independents for change), Belgium (PTB) and Spain (Podemos).

The survey, commissioned by the European Coalition for Israel, also shows that support for Israel has risen across the party lines after the October 7 massacre and may rise further after the missile and drone attack by Iran.

From 6 to 9 of June, European citizens in 27 member states will elect the new European Parliament for five years.

For many years, Israelis have had their own thoughts and views on how the Jewish ste is being perceived in Europe. But since last year, thanks to the European Coalition for Israel (ECI), they have a clear answer with the release on Thursday of the second survey on pro-Israel vote ranking in the European Parliament.

The new annual survey, which is based on voting records in the European Parliament in 2019-2024, was presented in Brussels on Thursday, less than fifty days before the EU elections.

The survey – per country, political group and national party- clearly shows that Central and Eastern European member states who have lived under totalitarian rule are more supportive of Israel than EU member states in Western Europe. Among the latest, Italy scores the highest (68,13).

The Visegrad countries – Poland, Czechia and Hungary- are in the top of the charts of pro-Israel states, followed by Italy and Austria among the Western countries. The Republic of Ireland is in a league of its own in its criticism of Israel by scoring a mere 23 % (compared to 76 % for Poland), followed by Malta and Cyprus.

The same applies for parties on the political right who are more likely to align with Israel than those on the political left.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group got the highest score (92,30) followed by ID and the European People’s Party(EPP). The Greens and the Left groups are on the bottom of the ranking (11,52 for the Left). According to the polls, the ECR group is going to increase its number of seats in the next parliament.

On the political party scene the right-wing opposition party Vox in Spain had the highest score (98,74), ahead of Civic Forum in Czechia, the Swedish Democrats in Sweden and the Reformed Party of the Netherlands, all part of the conservative ECR group. At the very bottom of the ranking we find national parties on the extreme left from countries such as Ireland (Independents for change), Belgium (PTB) and Spain (Podemos).

The results do not come as a surprise for anyone who has monitored EU policies on Israel in recent years but give nevertheless hard evidence to that which in the past has mainly been general assumptions.

Apart from measuring votes in relations to Israel the survey also looks at attitudes to the Islamic Republic of Iran which on Sunday opened a direct front against Israel by attacking the Jewish state with drones and missiles directly from within its own territory. On Wednesday and Thursday EU leaders gathered for a two-day special summit in Brussels and took additional measures to sanction Iran and all those who provide them with missiles and drones but failed again to ban the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) despite pressure from some member countries to do so.

Leading the way for banning the IRGC was the largest party block in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), which demanded tougher measures against Iran as a response to the Iranian attack. Earlier in the week leading Swedish MEP David Lega from the EPP group spoke in the monthly European Report program and stated that ‘’soft policies did not get us anywhere with Putin, neither will they help us with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Instead he required that both the IRGC and Hezbollah in its entirety should be designated as terrorist organisations.

Deputies such as David Lega on the right have consistently been asking for a ban of IRGC whereas this has been opposed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell and others on the political left.

Commenting on the survey results, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell, during the presentation of the results, clarified that ECI is working to ensure that Israel will have support from across the political spectrum. ‘’But in order to reach this goal we need to establish the current positions of the various political parties,’’ he added.

Emphasising the critical role of individual members of the European Parliament not only in casting their votes but also in taking the floor and actively standing up for Israel, Sandell thanked the outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament delegation to Israel, Spanish Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP) and Dutch Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR) respectively who have been consistent defenders of Israel throughout the five-year term.

At the survey presentation, also MEP Charlie Weimers spoke, representing the Swedish Democrats with the third best pro-Israel score of all 195 parties. ‘’This survey comes at a critical time because Israel is fighting a war right now against Hamas and they deserve our unwavering support in that endeavour,’’ he said.

The survey also shows that support for Israel has risen across the party lines after the October 7 massacre and may rise further after the missile and drone attack by Iran on Sunday. This was illustrated in the joint statement from the 27 EU leaders on Thursday as they reaffirmed their commitments to Israel’s security while calling on all sides to prevent more tensions.

The full European Parliament Israel ranking 2024 can be found on the ECI website. https://ec4i.org/initiatives/ep-israel-ranking/

By Yossi Lempkovicz / European Jewish Press

You can read the original article here.

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