“The situation that we have already experienced will be reproduced, in which some European countries will vote in favor, others against and others will abstain, reflecting a different perspective and assessment based on historical circumstances and cultural and political heritages with Israel and Palestine. “. It was the omen of Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the EU, shortly before the vote at the United Nations. And the prediction was confirmed hours later: European countries are divided when it comes to demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.
Dennis Francis, president of the UN General Assembly, described it violence in Gaza as a “humanitarian catastrophe”. “In the name of humanity I ask again: stop this violence now,” she appealed. The resolution promoted by the United Arab Emirates to demand a ceasefire, the unconditional release of the hostages, the protection of all civilians and humanitarian access has been approved by 153 votes in favor, ten against and 23 abstentions. Among them Austria and the Czech Republic have voted negative; Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia have abstained and the rest have voted in favour. Some capitals such as Berlin have used the excuse that calling for a ceasefire would mean hindering Israel’s right to defend itself.
The European position at the UN was the chronicle of an announced division. In the previous vote at the end of October it was already staged. Four countries, Austria, Croatia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, positioned themselves against calling for an immediate and lasting humanitarian truce. Spain, and eight others such as Belgium and France voted in favor and 15 others led by Germany abstained.
This call It has a lot of weight on a political and symbolic level, but it is not binding. It was the decaffeinated step after last week, the United States blocked the UN Security Council resolution with its veto. France, as a permanent member, and Malta, as a rotating member, did express a favorable opinion. At that time, Secretary General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99, for the first time in his mandate and the fourth in the history of the UN. A desperate appeal that sought to put the globe’s focus on stopping a humanitarian tragedy.
After this action by the Portuguese, the Israeli Government accused him of being a “danger to the world”. “You can agree or disagree with the content of this call from the Secretary General, but what cannot be argued is that, by doing so, the Secretary General of the United Nations becomes a threat to peace,” he said. reiterated the head of European diplomacy. For Borrell, disqualifying Guterres “means disqualifying the United Nations as a fundamental body that guarantees or works for peace and stability in the world, and that is why these attacks are completely unjustified, and I believe that it is in Europe’s honor to defend the secretary general,” he added.
Having rejected this route, the international community thus imposingly and imposingly attends what Borrell described as an “apocalyptic” situation in Gaza. More than 18,000 people have died, including more than 7,000 children. Around 70% are civilians. And nearly two million people have been forcibly displaced. “It is not morally justifiable to kill a guilty person and at the same time kill 300 innocent people. It is not justifiable. The proportion between the objective of defending oneself and the civilian victims causes concern at the very least,” said the High Representative from the Strasbourg rostrum.
The Israeli representative in New York has harshly attacked those countries that have voted in favor, equating Hamas with the Islamic State. Shortly before, Borrell left a message to the MEPs: “I’m going to read you something: ‘Anyone who wants to prevent there from ever being a Palestinian state has to support Hamas and has to transfer money to Hamas. This is what we are doing. It is part of our strategy. Fund Hamas so there will never be a Palestinian state‘Do you know who said that? Mr. Netanyahu in March 2019 in the Knesset.”
His statements coincide with a moment in which a milestone has occurred in the United States, the older brother and great supporter of the Jewish State. In unusual statements, North American President Joe Biden has stated that Israel is losing favor with the rest of the world and has urged Netanyahu to make a change in his government, the most radical in Israel’s 75-year history. These words come in the midst of public tension between Washington and Tel Aviv. Netanyahu, who has proclaimed himself “the only one who can stop the creation of a Palestinian State,” opposes Europe and the United States’ plan for tomorrow in the Holy Land, which involves the Palestinian Authority assuming control and Gaza leadership.
Shortly before the vote in New York, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called his Israeli counterpart to demand that he “exercise greater restraint in his military deployment, which must be proportionate and in accordance with international humanitarian law.” In all likelihood, tensions within Europe over setting limits for Israel on its right to defend itself and the protection of civilians in Gaza will emerge again at the European summit which the 27 leaders of State and Government celebrate on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, has begun an offensive together with the leaders of Ireland, Belgium and Malta to establish a more forceful European line regarding the conflict in the Holy Land. But this week it has become clear that unity in this regard is not even achieved, at the moment, to punish the settlers responsible for the excessive violence in the West Bank.