the diplomatic bankruptcy of the European Union

LThe decision was intended above all to be symbolic. But above all, she highlighted the deep divisions in the European Union (EU) on the burning Israeli-Palestinian issue. Tuesday May 28, after almost eight months of war in Gaza, which wiped out a large part of this territory and caused more than 35,000 deaths, the vast majority civilians, Spain and Ireland, associated with Norway (excluding EU), recognized the State of Palestine. Slovenia is expected to do so on June 4. We hope that our recognition and its reasons will help push other European countries to follow this path, because the more of us there are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire, achieve the release of the hostages held by the Hamas and restart the political process that can lead to a peace agreement »assured Pedro Sanchez, announcing his choice on May 22 in Madrid.

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In the preceding weeks, the head of the Spanish socialist government had sought to rally other countries to his initiative. In vain. Still anxious to spare Israel, eighty years after the Shoah, Germany does not want to hear about such recognition, any more than the United States and the United Kingdom. “France does not consider that the conditions were currently met for this decision to have a real impact in this process”comments, for his part, Stéphane Séjourné, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This is how the European Union and its member states have been going since the attack carried out on October 7, 2023 by Hamas, which resulted in the death of 1,200 Israelis and the capture of 252 others. Under the shock of this massacre, the Twenty-Seven will first insist, in unison, on Israel’s right to defend itself, even if it means upsetting the Arab capitals. Then, very quickly, the differences will widen. At the European Council on October 27, 2023, when the bombings on Gaza have already caused more than 7,000 deaths, the Twenty-Seven are torn apart over the advisability of calling for a ceasefire. At the end of heated debates, they are content to call for “humanitarian breaks”. Berlin in particular refuses to talk about a ceasefire, so as not to limit Israel’s right to retaliate.

Impotence and “fatalism”

The same day, the consensus forged in pain in Brussels was shattered in the discussions held in parallel, in New York, within the United Nations General Assembly. Eight European states approve the resolution which calls for a “immediate humanitarian truce” in the Gaza Strip (France, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and Malta), while four are against (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia) and a majority of Member States (fifteen countries, including Germany and Poland) abstain.

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