EU allows Abbas to continue pantomime

3 weeks. And still not a single word of condemnation from Mahmoud Abbas about the stabbings and murder that have left 10 Israelis dead and more than 100 injured including kids and grandparents.

3 weeks. And no end in sight to the incitement to hatred and the lie that the Al Aqsa mosque is under threat – a lie that is causing death and heartbreak on both sides.

3 weeks. And still EU leaders refuse to condemn Abbas. Quite the opposite in fact, he was welcomed to EU Foreign Policy Chief Ferderica Mogherini’s office on Monday night in Brussels.

At the press conference — which bizarrely had no question and answer session — there was the ubiquitous warm handshake, photo-op and a perfectly delivered, politically correct, blaming both sides statement from Mrs Mogherini.

Then the pantomime continued with Mr Abbas blaming Israel for everything.

The violence could get worse he warned, he repeated his lie about a change of status at Al Aqsa and used the word settlements on multiple occasions.

And the worst part is, he was allowed to do so. No interruptions, no shaking of the head from Mogherini and no proper analysis from journalists who were forbidden from asking questions.

He was allowed to do so right at the heart of the EU in Brussels. It was a public relations victory for the Palestinian leader, who can interpret this free-hand on the diplomatic stage as giving credence to his line of thinking that killing and stabbing a civilian population is acceptable in the name of ‘popular resistance’.

This awful aberration of the English language has already been lapped up by the usual suspects: Hamas and ISIS. The former calling for suicide attacks against Israel from the West Bank, the latter posting an online video in Hebrew of an ISIS soldier with a knife warning the civilian population that “we are coming for you.”

Even a university dean got in on the act. Dr. Subhi Al-Yaziji, Dean of Quranic Studies at the Islamic University of Gaza said on TV: “All Jews in Palestine today are fair game — even the women and children.”

Let us repeat this so it is crystal clear. This whole sorry, tragic and murderous situation is built on a lie.

That is why Israelis from whatever part of the political spectrum, whether anti-Bibi, pro-settler, Labour, Yesh Atid or Likud are looking at blood soaked pavements, scratching their heads and asking “why on earth is the EU giving diplomatic airtime to this abhorrent falsehood?

The EU clearly has a role to play in mediation, but as the most basic building block, at the core of any involvement, it needs to be able to call it as it is, hold people to proper account and steadfastly refuse to let one side incite violence and brand cold-blooded murder as ‘popular resistance’

It is not about blaming one side over the over, It is about being strong and determined enough to say that balance and political correctness have no place when unashamed, unwarranted and indiscriminate brutal murder is taking place against a civilian population.

There can be no room for platitudes such as those we witnessed last night from the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief.

About the Author
Alex Benjamin is the director of EIPA, a multi-disciplined pro-Israel advocacy Group based in Brussels, with offices in Paris and Berlin. He is also the Director of Public Affairs for EJA: European Jewish Association, a Brussels based NGO which represents and acts on behalf of Jewish communities across the EU and wider European continent, at the heart of the European Institutions and at bilateral level with Member States.
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