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Facts bear no weight as EU leaders align with Israel’s genocidal war

Originally published by Middle East Eye | بالعربية

Israel laid the conceptual, racial and spatial infrastructure of ethnic cleansing and genocide long ago, particularly throughout the decades of the “Oslo peace process”, with the direct support of the West.

Since 7 October, the genocidal threshold has been crossed as Israel has embarked upon executing a “textbook case of genocide” and ethnic cleansing of 2.3 million people in Gaza, a process also unfolding in the West Bank.

In contrast to previous Euro-settler-colonial genocides, the unfolding genocide in Gaza is being livestreamed and witnessed by everyone. Therefore, in addition to intent and military capabilities, genocide requires protective diplomatic and media/propaganda cover.

The EU, along with the US, has been providing this cover.

The bombing of Gaza is systematic and designed to turn it into a genocidal landscape. As of writing,  Israel has killed over 20,000 (of whom over 8,000 are children and 6,200 are women) and injured 53,320, while 6,700 remain missing under the rubble.

Neither this infrastructure nor genocidal war could have been possible without the direct and indirect diplomaticmilitaryintelligence and media support from the EU and US, which ensured, time and again, that Israel remains above international law.

In the past, the EU extended its protective cover for Israeli settler-colonialism while upholding liberal and humanitarian facades. However, since 7 October, the EU has taken off all masks.

A chilling indifference

Indeed, the EU has a detailed picture of the situation in Gaza. Their chief of foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, described it as “catastrophic, apocalyptic” with “unprecedented” civilian suffering and destruction levels “even greater” than that of Germany during the Second World War. 

None of this has shaken the conscience of the EU. European shock and rage transpire when their colonial violence, typically reserved for racialised peoples, rebounds and hits Europeans, as Aime Cesaire forcefully argued almost seven decades ago.

The EU has displayed a chilling indifference to the ongoing crimes against humanity in Gaza. It has refrained from condemning, let alone halting, these crimes because they have been perpetrated against an “inferior race” by Israel, a settler-colonial extension of Europe.

After almost three months of uninterrupted wanton, the EU continues to rejectcalls for a ceasefire to stop the unfolding genocide.

In its last meeting between 14–15 December, the European Council, responsible for defining EU policies, reaffirmed the EU’s the unwavering backing of Israel’s genocidal war under the pretext of Israel’s “right to defend itself”, while sometimes adding the generic and pathetic additives such as “in line with international law” and highlighting “the importance” of protecting civilians.

The European Council’s decision came swiftly to diminish the symbolic impact of the 17 EU member states that supported the non-binding UN General Assembly resolution for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, which was overwhelming passed on 12 December.

In a joint article published 16 December, the foreign ministers of Germany and the UK – both countries abstained from voting on the aforementioned UN resolution – stated explicitly that they “do not believe” in a general and immediate ceasefire now, hoping that the killings would end sometime “in the future”.

The West against the rest

Gaza continues to denude the EU’s enduring coloniality and racism, much as it did over six decades ago. The 1956 joint Anglo-French-Israeli aggression on Gaza and Egypt, in response to the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, played a significant role in fostering European integration to prolong colonial exploitation and suppress liberation struggles in Africa and the Arab world.

The current dehumanisation of Palestinians and the disinformation are liberally used to reinforce a geopolitical narrative for collective western action against the rest, a narrative that has vigorously crystallised since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Neither morality nor facticity matter to this geopolitical narrative and consensus. This post-fact European attitude is rooted in coloniality, racism and supremacism.

While declaring that “Europe stands with Israel”, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has unabashedly spread misinformation and baseless claims (the kind of acts the EU professes to combat and criminalise) such as “burning people alive” and “mutilating children and even babies” on 7 October.

Such libel against Palestinians is still published on the Commission’s homepage, even though it has been widely debunked, even by Israeli sources.

The ‘new Nazis’

Von der Leyen evoked the memory of Nazi atrocities against European Jewish citizens. She alleged that Israelis were killed on 7 October “because they were Jews” and because of the “ancient evil” within the Palestinians, purportedly reminiscent of Europe’s “darkest past“.

This fabrication not only deliberately disregards the facts of a 140-year settler-colonial struggle between the indigenous people of Palestine and Euro-Zionist settlers, but also presents the Palestinians as the heirs to deep-seated European antisemitism.

The Palestinian existence and resistance are portrayed as a reincarnation of Europe’s Nazi evil. 

For the EU, this existence is a stumbling block in the way of Europe’s redemption, a persistent reminder of what Europe has attempted to forget in search for atonement for its murderous violence against its European Jewish citizens.

Since 7 October, Europe has taken a step further by enabling genocide in Gaza as a form of atonement for its own genocidal history, even if this required suppressing, even outlawing, dissent, protests and freedom of expression. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged complete public silence and declared, “Every ‘yes, but’ is totally out of place”.

The juxtaposition of the Palestinian present with Europe’s past is a ruse to justify the EU’s complicity in a genocidal war to remove the Palestinian struggle out of the way.

The Palestinian people will endure, steadfast in the long anti-colonial struggle for liberation and justice, just as they have for over a century.

Cite as: Badarin, Emile (2023). Facts bear no weight as EU leaders align with Israel’s genocidal war. Middle East Eye, 30 December.