The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret expressed his disapproval for the ‘death penalty for terrorists bill’ in a Ynet studio interview on Sunday, saying, “Our position is that the death penalty is in violation of human dignity and human rights.” Last week, the European Union (EU) released a statement saying that the death penalty was inhumane.
“All EU countries abolished the death penalty, in fact, in order to join the EU, a country must abolish the death penalty. It is in the European Union’s European Convention on Human Rights,” said Giaufret.
Pressed on the inhumanity of those killing Israelis in the streets, the ambassador responded: “Definitely, it is inhumane to carry out terror attacks against civilians and those must be condemned. We consistently condemn them; we find any terror attack unacceptable. The question is what is the solution. We do not believe that the death penalty is conducive to progress. It is a mutual value of ours on which the EU disagrees with Israel and we want to make our stance clear.”
While the EU’s stance may be unpopular among Israelis, the ambassador insisted the EU remained very relevant for Israel. “Israeli exports to the EU during 2017 increased by 20%. The Union is the primary export market for Israeli products: 35% of Israeli production, $16 billion, goes to Europe – and it is increasing,” said Giaufret.
Ambassador Giaufret also addressed US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “Nobody can deny the deep connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem: a connection rooted in history, religion and emotions. It is not going anywhere,” he said.
“Jerusalem is very important to the three monotheistic religions. It is important to the Palestinians and the Arab world as well. Jerusalem is a very sensitive issue… and we believe that the way to move forward towards a solution is through bilateral negotiations. That is why we differ in our stance on Jerusalem,” Giaufret added.
EU Delegation to Israel press release