Paris, 25 May 2022
Madam Ursula von der Leyen,
President of the European Commission,
Though we are aware that your Commission does not control the European Parliament, we urge you, as head of the EU system, to deplore the presence in the Parliament of a spokesman in favour of Hamas, the PFLP and Hezbollah – movements that are on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations.
The Wiesenthal Centre is grateful to the Spanish NGO “Action and Communication on the Middle East” (ACOM), for its 27-page dossier revealing MEP Manuel Pineda. His case is unacceptable for any Member of the European Parliament. Yet, Roberta Metsola, President of the Parliament, is clearly reluctant to take the necessary measures.
Manuel Pineda (a.k.a. Manu Abu Carlos) is described by ACOM as “an open apologist of terrorists and murderers of Israelis and Jews.”
In 2010, Pineda produced an Israeli flag on which the Star of David was equated to the Nazi Swastika.
In 2011, he led a militant flotilla bound for Gaza, that was stopped by the Greek authorities. Nevertheless, he managed, through Egypt, to reach Gaza, where he stayed for three years building relationships with Hamas leaders.
In 2013, he entered the West Bank, where he glorified a young girl, Ahed Tamimi, and her family who had attacked an Israeli soldier.
In 2014, Pineda applauded the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli adolescents.
He openly stands by the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), that is also on the European terrorist list for its hijacking and suicide bombing activities since the late 1960’s.
Pineda also befriends the PFLP-affiliated NGO “Samidoun”, led by Khalid Barakat, known for supporting prisoners through its “pay to slay” policy. Barakat was thrown out of Germany, only to open shop in Toulouse, France – but was then closed by the French Interior Minister on the grounds of evidence provided by the Wiesenthal Centre.
He participates in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign targeting Israel, made illegal by most EU member-States.
He also reportedly hailed Hezbollah Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, as “undisputed leader of the Arab world!”
In 2019, Pineda was elected as MEP for the Podemos list, a party allegedly financed by Iran. Podemos is a member of Spain’s coalition government.
Madam President, in 2003, during the Second Intifada, the Wiesenthal Centre prepared a “Convention Against Suicide Terror,” that included the chain from incitement to financing, from training to arming, from glorifying to killing through suicide bombing... It pointed out how all those involved in each phase were de facto complicit of terrorism.
Ironically, among the Ministers we approached at the time, it was Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel-Angel Moratinos, who – in the wake of the 2004 Atocha-Madrid train station bombings – showed most interest in the Convention, if not “limited” to suicide terror.
Manuel Pineda fits into the “chain of terror” – from incitement to glorification.
Madam President, this figure is a blight on the European system... He must be removed.
Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre