The European Union’s silence on the human rights abuses by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and the EU’s double standards on accountability and justice always faced complicity or cowardice.
Israel has been accused of committing war crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinian people. Israel has also intensified its illegal settlement expansion, home demolitions, collective punishment, and repression of Palestinian civil society in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
However, the EU has failed to take any meaningful action to pressure Israel to end its violations or to support international mechanisms to investigate and prosecute them. The EU has abstained or voted against resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly that called for an independent commission of inquiry and an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice on the situation in Palestine.
The EU has also continued to cooperate with Israel on various fields, such as trade, research, and security, despite Israel’s disregard for international law and human rights. The EU-Israel Association Council, the main diplomatic body promoting intergovernmental relations, resumed its meetings last year after a seven-year hiatus.
Some EU member states have expressed their support for Palestinian rights and opposed Israel’s policies. However, they have been outnumbered by other states that have prioritized their strategic and economic interests with Israel over their stated values.
Human rights activists have urged the EU to live up to its own rhetoric and place human rights at the center of its Israel and Palestine policy. They have also called on the EU to end all activities that contribute to apartheid and further repression of the Palestinian people.