Slovak FM says anger over Mabhouh’s death helped keep Goldstone issue alive.
European anger over supposed Israeli misuse of passports to kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 19 played a «certain role» in shifting EU votes on the Goldstone Report in the UN General Assembly last week, visiting Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
The Slovak Republic, considered in Jerusalem one of Israel’s best friends in the EU, originally voted – along with six other EU countries – alongside Israel against endorsing the Goldstone Commission report at the General Assembly in November.
In a second vote on the matter on Friday, however, all seven EU countries abstained, and another 10 countries that had abstained in the November vote – including Britain, France, Sweden, Belgium and Finland – voted in favor of an Arab resolution to keep the issue alive.
After saying that the change of votes was due in part to the EU’s desire to appear to speak in a less fragmented voice on the issue, and that the recent resolution was softer than the November one, Lajcak added, “Don’t take this as any official position, but I also think the European public opinion has been affected by the killing in Dubai, not in favor of Israel, [and this] probably played a certain role in the shifting of policy in certain countries.”
Lajcak – who was present in the debate in Brussels last Monday following which the EU issued a statement condemning the killing, but stopped short of blaming Israel – said, “I would be hypocritical if I said this [the passport issue] had no impact whatsoever” on the vote in the UN.
No country “is immune to its public opinion,” he said.
Source: Jerusalem Post.