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EU Foreign Policy chief criticises European Commission President’s ‘pro-Israel stance’

February 26, 2024 at 1:20 pm

EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen on February 23, 2024 in Warsaw, Poland. [Omar Marques – Anadolu Agency]

The EU Foreign Policy chief criticised European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, for her “pro-Israel stance”, Anadolu Agency reports.

In an interview with the Spanish daily, El Pais, on Sunday, Josep Borrell had harsh words about the trip she took to Tel Aviv in October 2023, where she offered the EU’s unconditional support for the war against Hamas.

“That trip by von der Leyen, with such an absolutely pro-Israeli stance, without representing anyone but herself in a matter of international politics, has had a high geopolitical cost for Europe,” he said.

He also said that US President Joe Biden’s support of Israel seems to be losing him votes among the young Democratic base.

“Hamas is an idea, and an idea can only be fought with another idea. (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s plans for Gaza are unacceptable. They are sowing the seeds of hate for generations to come,” he told the Spanish daily.

“It’s an open secret that the Israelis funded Hamas as a gamble on dividing the Palestinians,” he added.

Speaking in a separate interview with Spanish daily, El Diario, on Sunday, the EU’s Foreign Policy chief slammed the Israeli government for refusing to hear any criticism, even when it comes from the UN.

“I reclaim my right to criticise the decisions of the Israeli government without being considered an anti-Semite. The two things have nothing to do with each other,” he said.

He also argued that the international community needs to impose a two-state solution if Israel is unwilling.

Borrell further criticised the US for its veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

“Although it may not be their intention, they are empowering Netanyahu,” he said.

He added that, while Israel has the right to defend itself, its use of force has been “disproportionate”.

“We are already witnessing a catastrophe: The UN has had to suspend its aid and Israel is using famine as a weapon of war, which runs contrary to international law,” Borrell said.

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