When it comes to Israel, the EU (pronounced eww) like to think of themselves as the keepers of international law and the drivers of peace and the ones who can bring balance to the force – or at least the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the reality is that they are none of these things.
Because when Israel announced today that they’d be appropriating land in Judea and Samaria as well as destroying structures funded by the Europeans, it’s not hard to predict the reaction. Israel will be condemned as violating “international law” and the moves will show that Israel is “not serious about peace” and the Palestinians will undoubtedly threaten to take Israel to the International Court for the 23rd time… this week. Israel will be accused of “killing the peace process” which has about as much life as a gay parade in downtown Tehran.
But something that these great scholarly minds of the EU fail to register is that international law is actually already being violated – by them!
In a report from last year, it was found that the European Union was funding unauthorized Palestinian building in areas of Judea and Samaria that was placed under Israeli jurisdiction by the Oslo Accords and therefore form part of international law of which the EU is a signatory and therefore bound. Furthermore these buildings have no permits, which was required to be obtained from the Israeli authorities, and also costs millions of euros of public money to build. Reported EU documentation also shows that the building projects are intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C’ which is Israeli controlled area. To top it off, these buildings display EU and Palestinian flags and stickers and have workers in uniforms donned with EU insignia and are even known by local villages as the ‘EU Settlements.’
When confronted with this, the EU has said its activities to support Palestinian building in the West Bank were humanitarian gestures recognized under international law. How strange it is then that when Jewish buildings built without permits are demolished and Jewish lives are turned upside down, the EU’s new found empathy for humanity deserts them.
Because what they are really saying is that they are picking and choosing the kind of international law they want to apply. According to them Israel violates international law, but also according to them, their own actions do not.
This is another example of the dishonesty of the European Union when it comes to dealing with Israel and the peace process. As with labeling Israeli goods, they are making a deliberate attempt to change the facts on the ground by imposing their solution on the conflict and bypassing the Israeli side entirely – a strategy in perfect sync with the Palestinian side.
Negotiations are about working together to achieve a solution so how can Israel be reasonably expected to treat the EU as honest brokers when all they are doing now is to try to force a solution on Israel that they have already decided.