by Leslie Bravery
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
The section of the EU statement concerning “heeding the aspirations of the people in the region” appears to juxtapose those of “the Palestinians for statehood” with “those of Israelis for security” because the Palestinian need for security is never mentioned in EU pronouncements. Yet the statement considers security to be “a crucial element for lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the region.” While the statement acknowledges Israel’s role in the “prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities” it fails to observe that such activities are also requirements for Palestinian security.
While undeniable reality forces the EU statement to recognise the applicability of international humanitarian law in occupied Palestinian territory, including the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians, the EU does no more than “urge” and “call for” Israeli compliance. While the EU is “appalled by recurring rocket attacks from Gaza and condemns in the strongest terms violence deliberately targeting civilians” it fails to comment on attacks (sometimes fatal and always economically damaging) by the Israeli Navy on Palestinian fishing boats. It would appear that the EU does not regard these attacks as “appalling” and, worse, does not even believe they are worth mentioning. EU bias is demonstrated further when it merely expresses “deep concern” regarding settler extremism and incitement by settlers in the West Bank (aided and abetted by the Israeli state) from whence no missiles are fired. It is true that the EU does condemn “continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians” but similarly only “calls” upon the occupying power “to bring the perpetrators to justice and to comply with its obligations under international law.”
The EU’s statement carefully avoids mentioning Israel’s illegal annexation Wall in the West Bank and the segregated, Jewish-only, roads and the holding of Palestinian prisoners without charge or trial. The organisation recognises that Israel, the belligerent occupying power, is in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention yet does nothing to encourage the world community to force Israel to comply with international law. On the contrary, the EU joins with Western governments and requires the defenceless, occupied, Palestinian people to negotiate under extreme duress with their oppressor.
As for the proclaimed ‘negotiations’ goal of two states living side-by-side in peace, it should be remembered that one of Israel’s non-negotiable pre-conditions (besides those concerning the permanence of illegal settlements and the “eternal indivisibility” of Jerusalem) is the de-militarisation of the so-called future Palestinian state and the complete surrender of its air space and borders to Israeli control. Well aware of this, the EU is nevertheless quite prepared to abandon the Palestinian people to both their present condition and the developing Zionist plan for Palestine. This is a betrayal that threatens all humanity. EU complicity, along with the duplicity and hypocrisy that accompanies it, must be tirelessly exposed and challenged.
Leslie Bravery – 15 May 2012