EU boss backs Israel’s acts of genocide

Ursula von der Leyen (center) gets a briefing from the Israeli military, while it attacks Gaza. 

Ziv Koren Polaris

Decades of duplicity have been erased.

The European Union has long endeavored to present itself as a paragon of balance. Now, it is unmistakably on the side of Israel – a state forcing genocide on Gaza.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, is largely responsible for the shift toward clarity. She has been in Israel over the past few days, assuring its leaders of her complete support.

Other EU representatives have tried to sound a little more nuanced.

Josep Borrell, the foreign policy chief, has indicated that he is unhappy with how Israel has ordered people in northern Gaza to move south. Evacuating a million civilians “into a territory under siege is extremely dangerous and virtually impossible,” he has warned.

The warning from Borrell meant nothing.

He issued it at the end of a visit to China.

By the time he had offered his view, von der Leyen had already pledged her devotion to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. She pledged it to Netanyahu’s face.

The European Commission president is not elected by ordinary voters. Von der Leyen, therefore, has no democratic mandate.

In the labyrinth of the EU institutions, her mandate is highly restricted when it comes to international relations.

Not that she cares. Or that Israel cares.

Netanyahu is unlikely to be worried by the difference in tone between what von der Leyen and Borrell have been saying.

Why should he if von der Leyen came to see him and guaranteed her total support for Israel’s genocidal conduct?

Nazi language

“Europe stands with Israel,” von der Leyen told Netanyahu. “And Israel has a right to defend itself. In fact, it has a duty to defend its people.”

Her comments were made on Friday.

They were made directly to the Israeli government. Days earlier, the defense minister in that government said it is “fighting human animals” in Gaza.

That is Nazi language. The Nazis described Jews as “rats.”

Von der Leyen – a former defense minister in Germany – implicitly endorses the dehumanization of Gaza’s inhabitants.

She has no problem with Israel borrowing from the lexicon of the Nazis.

Von der Leyen has called Russia’s cutting of electricity in Ukraine a war crime.

Yet she has no problem with Israel depriving Gaza of food, fuel, water and energy. She has no problem with hunger being used as a weapon against civilians.

Israel is a “democracy,” in her view.

If you pose as a democracy, Ursula von der Leyen will let you away with genocide.


When von der Leyen speaks of duty, she forgets her own duties.

She has a duty to the taxpayers of Europe.

Israel has repeatedly destroyed aid projects funded by the European taxpayer. Much of the infrastructure now being demolished in Gaza has been built (and rebuilt) with EU funding.

Yet the European Union has never held Israel accountable for that destruction.

The EU will not do so.

The European elite stands by Israel. And its destruction. And its acts of genocide.

The EU brings together 27 governments.

A few have mildly criticized Israel.

Ireland, for example, says it “cannot accept the collective punishment of an entire population.”

An article in The Irish Times suggests there is a certain amount of unease within the EU institutions about von der Leyen and her total devotion to Israel.

Will there be any repercussions for von der Leyen? Probably not.

As I’ve previously written, the divisions within the EU on Israel are really a matter of optics. All EU governments and representatives support Israel. Some of them also pretend to care about Palestinians.

Von der Leyen does not care. She doesn’t even pretend to care.