European Union correspondent
European Union correspondent
Hundreds of European Union officials accuse the European Union of applying double standards regarding the war between Israel and Gaza. In a letter to the President of the European Commission that is in the hands of NOS, they made a comparison with the Ukraine war. They wrote that the Union has unequivocally condemned Russia since the beginning of the war, while its policy towards Israel is extremely cautious.
European Union officials said that under current policies, the European Union risks “losing its credibility.” He also criticizes the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the occupied Palestinian territories and Human Rights Watch. Other experts point out that comparing the two wars and the parties involved in them is not useful.
European officials wrote to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that they were “saddened” by “clear evidence of double standards, where the blockade imposed by Russia (water and fuel) against the Ukrainian people is considered an act of terrorism, while the same action by Israel” against the population Gaza is completely ignored.” The message was sent according to the website EURACTIV More than 850 officials signed it. The European Commission employs about 30,000 government employees.
A senior EU diplomat points out that the wars cannot be compared because Russia “is waging an aggressive war against Ukraine, while Israel has been attacked by terrorists. We have great concerns about what is happening in Gaza, and we are expressing that very clearly.”
The diplomat believes that criticism that the EU’s response in the case of Israel differs from that regarding Russia should be “listened carefully”, but he categorically states that he believes that “not every accusation is justified.”
“Comparing apples to oranges”
Peter Malcontent, a Middle East expert from Utrecht University, believes that comparing the statements of European Union representatives about the wars in Ukraine and Israel is not useful. “You would expect European officials with knowledge of international politics in particular not to come up with simplistic comparisons.”
Malcontent calls it “comparing apples and oranges” because the context is so different. “In Ukraine, you can clearly say: Russia invaded, which is against all agreements. You have to condemn Russia for that. In Israel and Gaza, the matter is much more complicated.”
Otherwise, people might think that European institutions consider the protection of Palestinian children, women and men less important than the protection of Ukrainians.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which began a year ago, as war crimes. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, asks Francesca Albanese von der Leyen on X to speak in the same way about Israel, which deprives the residents of the Gaza Strip of electricity, water and food. “Otherwise, people might think that European institutions consider the protection of Palestinian children, women and men less important than the protection of Ukrainians,” Albanese said.
Human Rights Watch also draws a comparison between the war in Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas. The human rights organization wrote on its website that international humanitarian law requires the protection of all civilians and that “violation of laws by one party does not justify their violation by another party.” During the war in Ukraine, European governments supported these principles, says a commentary on the magazine websiteHe condemned the violations committed by Russia. But what Israel did has remained largely silent, according to Human Rights Watch.
Tomorrow, European foreign ministers, including Hanke Bruins-Slot, will meet in Luxembourg to discuss the war between Israel and Hamas. According to a senior EU diplomat, the criticism will likely be taken up there.
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