EU slammed for targeting Israeli construction, underemphasizing Hamas

Click photo to download. Caption: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the European Union for condemning Israeli construction, but not Hamas. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. ( Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused the international community of “deafening silence” in response to recent vows by Hamas to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed, and appeared unmoved by the gathering storm of global condemnation of his government’s plans to continue construction in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.

Netanyahu’s tough words came after the European Union warned Israel of unspecified consequences Monday if it goes through with its construction plans, Israel Hayom reported. The EU’s 27 foreign ministers said they were “deeply dismayed” by those plans.

“The E1 plan, if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict by jeopardizing the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and of Jerusalem as the capital of two states,” said the ministers said in a joint statement. “It could also entail forced transfer of civilian populations.”

After the EU issued its condemnation, Netanyahu spoke to foreign reporters and accused the international community of having double standards, condemning not-yet-built communities while standing quiet during a historic visit to the Gaza Strip by Hamas’s exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal.

“We are not giving up any inch of Palestine,” Mashaal told a Gaza crowd during his visit. “It will remain Islamic and Arab for us and nobody else. Jihad and armed resistance is the only way. We cannot recognize Israel’s legitimacy.”

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also addressed the EU’s condemnation of Israel, telling Israel Radio that Europe was “once again, ignoring calls to destroy Israel.”

The EU foreign ministers’ conclusions from the meeting that were published on Monday had in fact condemned Hamas for "inflammatory statements by Hamas leaders that deny Israel’s right to exist," but that condemnation appeared at clause No. 9 of 10 points published by the EU and came after a succession of condemnations of Israel for E1 construction, which itself was the reason the foreign ministers had convened. 

Posted on December 11, 2012 .