The EU has issued tepid statements in response to the recent 11-day crisis in Palestine, ignoring the violence perpetrated by Israeli authorities. This post suggests that the EU’s silence is consistent with the positions of the Member States and the EU’s established policy but does not sit well with its alleged “values”.
The crisis in Palestine has sparked reactions across the globe. Some actors have energetically condemned Israel’s actions; before the 21 May ceasefire, the Tunisian foreign minister, e.g., “called on ending the savage Israeli aggression on the occupied Palestinian territories and the besieged Gaza Strip”. Others have sided with Israel; the US, in particular, stressed its “strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself”.
The European Union largely followed the US approach. The statements of EU leaders stigmatised the violence perpetrated by Hamas but not the abuses conducted, on a larger scale, by Israeli authorities (see below, section 1). The silence of EU institutions is unsurprising, since it is consistent with the priorities of its Member States (section 2), the EU’s established policy (section 3) and the pragmatic character of the EU’s external relations: the Union often preaches its “values” but seldom practices them (section 4).