Molenbeek’s Controversial Resolution: Insights and Reactions

2023-11-24 09:46:00

Indeed, in this message, the socialist welcomed the vote at the municipal level of the text demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the lifting of the Israeli blockade on the territory controlled by the Hamas terrorist movement, the end of the occupation by the IDF… This motion was also approved by local elected officials MR. As a reminder, in Molenbeek, the liberals sit in the college alongside the socialists.

The PS Molenbeekois corrupted by an internal war: “If Catherine Moureaux does not pull herself together, she will have a problem”

A formula used in this tweet from Jamal Ikazban particularly offended the liberals. According to his message posted on X (formerly Twitter), the resolution adopted by the municipal council also demanded “the release of all Israeli and Palestinian hostages”. Which suggested that, in Molenbeek, it is considered that the Israeli authorities would have taken hostages just as the Islamist terrorists of Hamas did during the pogroms of October 7…

Liberal indignation and misunderstanding…

That was all it took to send messages pouring into the WhatsApp group of the Brussels MR federation. Several elected officials were indignant at the adoption of this resolution by the representatives of the MR within the commune led by the socialist Catherine Moureaux. Is the Molenbeek MR following the PS in the very sensitive conflict in the Middle East?

The trouble was calmed when the liberals understood that Jamal Ikazban had poorly worded his famous tweet. The adopted Molenbeek resolution does not mention the existence of “Palestinian hostages” who would be in the hands of the Israelis (in the coming hours and days, the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas must take place in exchange for “Palestinian prisoners” and not “hostages”). In a subsequent message, the elected PS no longer makes this error. He mentions “the release of all the hostages”, without further details.

However, this uncertainty regarding the hostages having been lifted, several liberals remain hostile to the demand for an “immediate ceasefire” with the release of the hostages as a prerequisite. Internally, several tenors of the MR contested this expression taken up in the Molenbeek motion and therefore voted for by the local MR: according to this reading of these liberals, an immediate ceasefire would call into question Israel’s right to defend itself following to the barbaric acts committed by Hamas on October 7.

As a reminder, the federal government and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib (MR) are calling for a “humanitarian ceasefire” which involves the temporary suspension of the conflict in Gaza in order to allow the security of civilian populations and the transport material and medical assistance in their favor.

Israel-Hamas: The subtle evolution of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo one month after the massacres

”Pure electoral communication from Ikazban”

After explanations provided by the president of the regional federation of MR, David Leisterh, the tension subsided. The ambiguous formulas which sowed trouble in the MR, “it was pure electoral communication from Ikazban”, judges a liberal, reassured. “The Ikazban text was very poorly written and we amended it. From now on, he does not question the line of the MR or the federal government, explains another MR source. Above all, this shows that it is not in municipal councils that there is the most expertise in international matters…”

The Liberals, however, remain vigilant. They believe that the PS and other left-wing parties are using the motions on Gaza in the various communal councils in order to embarrass the MR. At the beginning of November, the city of Brussels had also, at the suggestion of the PS, adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire. “I find it disgusting to use the deaths of thousands of civilians to play petty politics. I felt among some people the desire to import the ongoing conflict in the Middle East for electoral purposes,” David Weystman, leader of the MR in the City of Brussels, told La Libre.

“This importation of the conflict in Gaza is dangerous”: in the Brussels municipalities, the PS is putting pressure on to change the Federal position
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