To commemorate Memorial Day, security authorities have compiled a list of politicians from both the left and right to keep a watch on.

Francesca Donato
Francesca Donato

The European Parliament would have compiled a list of left and right MEPs to keep an eye on in light of Holocaust Memorial Day and Israeli President Isaac Herzog's visit to Brussels on January 26. The Spanish newspaper El Diario obtained a list compiled by the Eurochamber's Information Security and Analysis Unit, which was allegedly used to implement "preventive measures" of security services in order to "avoid any damage to the structures and their material assets," according to what we read in an internal email.

Among those on the list is Francesca Donato, an Italian MEP and former Northern League member who has now joined Tot Cuffaro's UDC. According to a list extract provided by El Diario, Donato was alleged to have "In an anti-vaccine tweet, he utilized a star of David as a sign of not being vaccinated. In another tweet, she adapted a Nazi slogan for the anti-vaccination movement ". Together with her, several right-wing MEPs have been accused of Nazi sympathies in the past. Yet, there is a substantial presence of left-wing MPs'signified' for their pro-Palestine sentiments and opponents of the Israeli government and its occupation policies in the Palestinian territories.

Among them is Manu Pineda, a Spanish MEP from the Left group who was denied entry to Israel in May by Tel Aviv officials despite being the head of an official European Parliament mission. "He has clear sentiments against Israel rather than anti-Semites," according to the Eurochamber paper. Pineda defined Israel as a "criminal regime that detains and kills Palestinian children every day and carries out a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination" during a debate in Strasbourg on "Perspectives for the Two-State Solution for Israel and Palestine" on December 13, 2022. He also called Israel a "colonial government."

For these reasons, he was added to the list of deputies who posed a security concern. Then there are MEPs with fascist or pro-Nazi sentiments. For example, the German Martin Buschmann, "who was a member of the German neo-Nazi NPD party in the early 1990s", the Hungarian Marton Gyongyosi of the ultra-right Jobbik party, "who in 2012 suggested that there was a list of Jews in the Hungarian parliament", and the Estonian Jaak Madison, "whom many sources consider a Nazi and an apologist for the Holocaust".

The European Parliament defends its decision, saying, "For obvious reasons, we cannot discuss or describe the security procedures that have been adopted," according to an official source quoted by El Diario. "Parliament, he says, shall exercise due vigilance by implementing all necessary security measures aimed at preventing any harm to the premises and their material assets, including during important ceremonies or events such as the Holocaust memorial on January 26, 2023. When preventative actions are required, they are implemented in accordance with the legislation of Members of the European Parliament and their independence as granted by the 1976 Election Act ".   

The announcement of the list of representatives who are haters of Israel came on the same day that another MEP, the green Ana Miranda Paz, was denied entry by Tel Aviv officials. Paz was scheduled to visit the Palestinian territory for two days. The Spanish MEP, a member of the Galician nationalist bloc, condemned the event on Twitter, while the EU Commission voiced "disappointment" with the "surprising" decision.
"The MEP was a member of an official delegation, and the Israeli authorities were notified. One of the pillars of good ties between the EU and Israel is respect for all members of the European Parliament ", said a Commission spokesperson.

Even Malta's head of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, voiced "deep displeasure" with Israel's decision. She'd done it before, on the occasion of Pineda's visit being halted. Metsola had arrived in Tel Aviv for a three-day visit on the same days that the Spanish MEP was meant to head the parliamentary group to Israel. The Israeli government paid for it. A case that has recently come to light as a result of the Qatargate affair.
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