Arab protest in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Arab protest in Jerusalem (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

A report released Wednesday by Tiny Kox, a Dutch member of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, claims that Palestinians are not "democratic partners" according to the Council of Europe's standards, and further blames Israel for the phenomenon.

In the report Kox, a member of Holland's Socialist Party, attributed the prevention of weapons smuggling to Gaza, Judea and Samaria as well as Gilad Shalit's release as "Palestinian achievements."

The report blames Israel of being a "barrier" preventing Palestinians from the Legislative Council's Conference, thereby "hindering many democratic processes." Israel is also accused of preventing internal reconciliation between factions of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as well as preventing democratic elections and local elections in Gaza.

During the discussion of the report at the Assembly, Knesset representative MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid), said "pointing an accusing finger at Israel because the Palestinians aren't meeting their international obligations is absurd."

The report is noted to have relied on one-sided testimony from Palestinian sources, while ignoring the importance of hostilities between the PA and Hamas as a central cause for absent Palestinian democracy.

Hoffman put the blame on the Palestinians for their failing, saying "Israel supports democracy in the Palestinian society and wants to remind that it is within the power of the Palestinian leadership to act even today in a range of fields" essential to democracy such as equal rights and freedom of information.

After the Assembly discussion, Hoffman commented that "we are in the heights of a dirty wave of anti-Israeli decisions. The hostile atmosphere towards Israel is felt most strongly throughout the European continent, and it finds expression in baseless decisions bereft of any logic such as this one."

On Tuesday Vitens, a Dutch water company, decided it would cut ties with its Israeli counterpart Mekorot due to the company's presence over the 1949 Armistice lines. The same day, the British Department of Trade and Investment warned British citizens not to be involved in business activities connected to Israeli communities over the lines.

"The isolation of Israel is dangerous and we must increase our diplomatic efforts, together with the Foreign Ministry, to act and repair Israel's standing in Europe and the entire world," remarked Hoffman.