Responding to Brussels attacks, Israeli politicians criticize EU complacency

A Brussels police car (illustrative). Credit: harry_nl via

( Israeli politicians on both ends of the political spectrum are criticizing Belgium’s security and immigration protocols in the wake of Tuesday’s terror attacks at the Brussels airport and a city train station.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) told Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday that if "in Belgium they continue eating chocolate and enjoying life, and continue to appear as great democrats and liberals, and [have] not decided that some Muslims in their country are organizing terror, they won't be able to fight them.”

Member of Knesset Nava Boker (Likud) said Belgium's "policy of appeasement" was to blame for the attacks.

"Rather than point to radical Islam as the number one cause of global terror today, Belgian Interior Minister [Jan] Jambon chooses to claim that more must be done to make young Muslims 'feel at home,'" she said. "Belgium must close its borders immediately, eject from itself the inciters, and stop Muslim immigration into the country."

Likud lawmaker MK Ofir Akunis wrote on Facebook that “many in Europe have preferred to occupy themselves with the folly of condemning Israel, labeling products, and boycotts. In this time, underneath the nose of the continent's citizens, thousands of extremist Islamic terror cells have grown. There were those who repressed and mocked whoever tried to give warning. There were those who underestimated. To our sorrow, the reality has struck the lives of dozens of innocent people, powerfully and fatally.”

Israeli opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) called Akunis’s Facebook post "condescending," but said that “we must unite to defeat terrorism.” Meanwhile, Zionist Union MK Kesenia Svetlova echoed Akunis’s sentiment that "European multi-culturalism has failed as a result of continued neglecting and ignoring of the challenges it poses."

"Europe must come up with a continent-wide plan for a war on extreme and destructive ideology and a holistic approach to deal with all of the negatives entering the continent in the name of extremist Islamic ideology, such as female circumcision, preventing education, racism, forced marriage, polygamy, and other issues,” she said.

These comments come a day after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki told European parliamentarians in Brussels that they should differentiate between Islamic State terrorism and the Palestinian attacks against Israelis in recent months. He blamed Palestinian terror on Israeli “occupation” and "youngsters driven by despair,” the Jerusalem Post reported. (Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Brussels attacks.)

But on Tuesday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged global unity in the face of terror, saying that “in all these cases, the terrorists have no resolvable grievances. It’s not as if we can offer them Brussels, or Istanbul, or even the West Bank…because what they seek is our utter destruction and their total domination.”

Posted on March 23, 2016 .