The head of Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem has urged European governments to “wake up” and use their “leverage” in order to pressure Israel to end its persistent violations of international law.
Writing in +972 Magazine, Executive Director Hagai El-Ad said Europe “has worn away its own credibility for years by repeatedly “expressing concern” over “the eroding possibility” of bringing an end to the occupation”, but without taking any serious action.
“For if Israel continues to cement its grasp all over the West Bank, why does Europe take seriously the occasional Israeli lip service to the ‘peace process’?” he asked.
— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) December 10, 2017
“And as Israel’s policy of forcibly displacing Palestinians from parts of the occupied territories is indeed a war crime, what is the EU’s effective counteraction?”
And for how much longer will the lie of “Israeli democracy”, alongside a 21st-century version of institutionalized oppression and dispossession, be accepted at Europe’s doorstep?” he added.
According to the B’Tselem head, thanks to the sheer bluntness of current American positions and Israeli actions, Europe can no longer pretend with any degree of credibility that the policy it is pursuing is one of supporting an American-led ‘peace process’.
Israeli military blocked roads to 4 Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta, stopping water supply from aid organizations. The communities in the area have been suffering incessant harassment by Israel for decades.https://t.co/zygBjA4KmJ pic.twitter.com/1ATnT0oK9V
— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) November 29, 2017
“As Israel’s number one trade partner,” El-Ad argued, “Europe has all the leverage it needs to inform Israeli voters that they cannot continue to have it both ways – enjoy perks justified by presumed shared democratic values, all while trampling those very values.”
“By continuing to express ‘serious concern’ instead of acting, Europe is deciding to allow others to lead the way, and de facto accepting the abundantly clear consequences,” he added.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)