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The EU’s reliance on selective remembrance

March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm

The EU representative in Jerusalem has issued a mild condemnation of Israel’s destruction of two shelters intended to alleviate hardships for displaced Bedouin. The shelters were located in Area C in the vicinities of the Apartheid Wall. “We condemn the demolition of two shelters funded by the European Union in Area C as part of our response to the needs of affected communities according to humanitarian imperative.”

The statement is replete with the usual contradictions emanating from Israel’s allies. In a similar manner to the US, the EU seeks to support Israel’s colonial process while embarking upon ineffective gestures – allegedly humanitarian – which prove, more than anything, the EU’s willingness to collaborate with Israel’s practice of forced displacement. Other than uttering a mere condemnation and offering compensation in the form of temporary shelters for displaced Bedouin, the EU is unwilling to hold Israel accountable for violations of international law.

Last month, the EU engaged in further rhetoric about imposing sanctions against Israel due to its continuous settlement expansion. According to Press TV, unnamed EU officials are “talking about sanctions against companies that do business across the border; about legal measurements taken by Palestinians with regard to the settlements; and about the renewed proposal to establish a Palestinian state through the Security Council.”

Fluctuating between condemnation of settlements and condemnation of shelter destruction, the EU is constantly appeasing Israel’s relentless colonisation plans. Again, the condemnations are based upon, as a premise, the two-state conspiracy and the 1967 borders; hence there is no aim to prevent Israel from pursuing its plans for expansion. Predictably, the EU has omitted from its narrative the fact that Israel has embarked upon the forced evacuation of Bedouin communities since 1949 – another reason why the emphasis upon 1967 as a departure date for any condemnation is flawed and renders the EU complicit in Israel’s colonial agenda. For the EU, selective historical remembrance remains a necessity, in particular when navigating the balance between faking support for Palestine and affirming its allegiance to Israel.

The symbol of 1967 is made to serve various colonial and imperialist interests. From negotiations to settlement expansion, the date has become a reliable affirmation of the intentional international dissociation between colonisation and occupation – rendering the latter a convenient clause that automatically eliminates international responsibility to combat colonisation.

On the contrary, much has been made about the fact that “EU funds” have contributed towards the building of 200 temporary shelters. The misuse of EU funds – including that of granting funds to Israeli companies complicit in brutal attacks upon Palestinians – is deftly concealed from scrutiny as hypocritical benevolence once again presides over a situation that is treated as an isolated occurrence rather than a continuous Israeli8 state policy aimed at further territorial usurpation.

Meanwhile, the UN and its affiliated agencies will insist upon quoting Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention with regard to the prohibition of individual or mass forcible transfer, yet fail to hold Israel accountable precisely due to the fact that any semblance of accountability would expose the sham created by the UN regarding the alleged eradication of colonialism.