The first day of the 5779th year of the Hebrew calendar will be remembered as a historic day for E.U. hypocrisy: On that day, E.U. member states, including those that claim they are Israel’s greatest friends, decided to stand with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and release a statement that completely contradicts the supposed principles of the European Union.
By calling on the Israeli government not to act in the spirit of the High Court of Justice’s ruling and evacuate and demolish the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain have violated official E.U. foreign policy, which supports the achievement of peace on the basis of the 1993 Oslo Accords and recognizes Israel as a sovereign state.
According to the Oslo Accords, Israel is responsible for Area C until other diplomatic agreements are reached on the matter. The E.U. has systematically acted in violation of international law and the Oslo Accords, and without coordinating with Israel to establish and encourage illegal Bedouin settlements.
The E.U. routinely rushes to condemn any construction in “illegal” Jewish settlements beyond the Green Line. But to the E.U., the illegal but non-Jewish settlement of Khan al-Ahmar is an entirely different matter. It is the E.U.’s stance on Khan al-Ahmar that makes its objections to “illegal settlements” that much harder to swallow.
The European Union’s decision to place a question mark, as it were, over the High of Court of Justice’s ruling on a matter that has been deliberated for years, and its calls for the Israeli government to ignore the High Court’s decision are not just an unprecedented and insolent attempt to meddle in Israel’s internal affairs, they are blatant attempts to undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy and a vote of no confidence in the independence of the Israeli judicial system.
At a time when a U.S. administration with the most realistic approach to the fundamental issues at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict has shown the Palestinians there is a price to be paid for placing obstacles in the path to a peace agreement with Israel, Europe has chosen to defend its Palestinian protégés in such a way that prevents any chance for an agreement to be reached.
Europe is now the greatest obstacle to reaching a regional peace agreement. And when E.U. representatives attend an exhibit in Khan al-Ahmar that features anti-Semitic propaganda ahead of its demolition, Europe can no longer feign surprise when it is accused of anti-Semitism.
Eldad Beck is an Israeli journalist and author.