On Wednesday, 8 November 2023, MEP Irena Joveva addressed the European Parliament plenary in Brussels as it discussed the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the need for a humanitarian pause. She pushed for an immediate ceasefire and – if it proved unattainable – suggested imposing sanctions, asking: “When, then, if not now? After 10,000 more people are dead? A hundred thousand? A million?”

Below you can read her address in full:

“Over the next minute I am mostly going to criticise the State of Israel. And I will not let anyone equate what I say with antisemitism. Still less will I allow it to be equated with support for Hamas.

I condemn everything these terrorists do. I condemn all killing of innocent people. I condemn the violation of international law.

I condemn our unending concern … and our unending double standards. Where is the determined pressure being exerted? Where is action being taken?

Of course, Israel has the right to defend itself. But this right does not give it a blank cheque. For killing Palestinian women and men. Children. Children! For indiscriminate bombing.

You know what would count?

Unconditional support for the innocent victims, that would count. Unconditional support for the efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire would count, and – failing that – for imposing sanctions. A ban on trade and cooperation with illegal Israeli settlements, for a start. Which, incidentally, has been going on for much longer than the current war.

So when, if not now? After 10,000 more people are dead? A hundred thousand? A million?

That would count. Now.”

You can watch the MEP’s address here.

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