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EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Photo: Reuters
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Photo: Reuters
 
Shaul Rosenfeld Photo: Hagit Peltz
Shaul Rosenfeld Photo: Hagit Peltz
 
 

Europe's double standards

Op-ed: While human rights trampled worldwide, EU leaders preoccupied with greatest calamity of all – 'Israeli settlements'

Shaul Rosenfeld
Published: 07.22.13, 20:40 / Israel Opinion

A storm rages around the globe with sweeping violations of human rights, extensive oppression of women, persecution of minorities, oppression of freedom of speech, occupations – including of the Arab world, civil wars, wholesale executions, assassinations of political rivals and less than 50% of free democratic regimes, but the leaders of the European Union are preoccupied with the greatest calamity of all – "the Israeli settlements."

 

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In Russia, Putin's rivals find themselves in jail, in exile or in their graves, while his country continues to occupy South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Kaliningrad district, part of Karelia and the Kuril Islands. At the same time, Russia is arming Assad the mass murderer and persisting with the extermination, rape and destruction of entire villages in Chechnya (so far Russia has butchered some 150,000 Chechens) – but in the "moral" continent not a single person thinks of a boycott of any kind.

 

In China human rights are trampled on a routine basis, protestors are killed (some 2,600 at Tiananmen Square in 1989), freedom of speech is oppressed and not just through the Internet police, citizens' movement is restricted, different religious denominations are abused, and at the same time they continue occupying Tibet. And in "justice seeking" Europe, of course, no one dreams of boycotting the Chinese.

 

And the list is very, very long, almost as long as the European double standards. For example, Europe's greatest ethical forces can ignore Britain's occupation of the Falkland Islands and control of Gibraltar, Spain's control of the Moroccan cities of Melilla and Ceuta, Denmark's control of Greenland, or France's control of New Caledonia, located far away in the Pacific Ocean, despite local demands for independence. The European Union responds to all of this with silence, just like it treated the biggest dictators of the Arab world, like Saddam Hussein (until the invasion of Kuwait), Gaddafi, Assad (both father and son), Mubarak and Khomeini.

 

Alliance with Israel's Left

In fact, the European stand is not really new, apart from an extension of a December 2012 decision by Europe's foreign ministers and its breakdown into practical measures, just like there is nothing new in the double standard which has been serving as the continent's pillar of fire for decades. In discussions held in Brussels over the application and nature of the boycott, Britain stood out in its demand for a wider boycott.

 

This is the same Britain which embraced and praised those Arab tyrants, including Fahd and Abdullah, the latest kings of Saudi Arabia, where organs are cut off, people are beheaded in public, women are oppressed, terrorists are hosted, funded and distributed. For example, 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were raised and educated in Saudi Arabia, and according to a 2002 Newsweek survey conducted among the kingdom's men aged 25-41, as many as 95% of them supported bin Laden's declared goals.

 

And this is the same Britain which a day after the publication of the WikiLeaks documents three years ago, which revealed that the coalition forces in Afghanistan, including the British, killed hundreds of local civilians (some in executions without a trial), all its Prime Minister Cameron had to complain about in his meeting with Erdogan was Israel's aberrant actions in stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla, asserting that "the Gaza Strip has turned into a prison camp."

 

And in that same decision by the European Union, the guiding figure behind the report, the Austrian Christian Berger, made certain to exclude left-wing and human rights organizations (Palestinian human rights of course), so that Europe could keep sticking its nose in other people's business in our region, including by funding those organizations, at least some of which are busy day and night with systematic reporting and slander against our country abroad.

 

And so we have a wonderful alliance between the Europeans and Palestinians, whose leaders – nearly all of them – have expressed in utmost discretion their strong commitment to a vision of a future Palestine from the Jordan River to the sea, and Israel's Left, mainly from the deranged section. Europe is showering the horrible Jewish state with a handful of hypocrisy and hatred while showing considerable sympathy towards the Palestinians and the "supporters of human rights, democracy and peace."

 

 

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