Published: 14 November 2023
The Israeli war and violations in the Gaza Strip continue to impose themselves on the
international arena, as the weeks pass and the death toll of the Israeli brutal bombing on
the Gaza Strip rises to more than 11 thousand, the tensions and contradictions in Western
countries are widening, between those calling for an immediate ceasefire and those
opposed to it.
Edited by| Hugh Gey
Politic section - CJ journalist
World - November,14,2023
The contradictions have led to an increase in voices criticizing Israel and its war on the Gaza
Strip, and Western governments for their inability to impose a humanitarian truce or
As it neared the end of its second month, the Israeli war on Gaza provoked multiple regional
and international tensions, which were reflected in the speeches and plans of Western
governments supporting Israel and put them in doubt and held accountable by local political
and popular forces, accusing them of confiscating the basic rights of their citizens in
exchange for firm and strict expression of support for Israel in its war on what it called
Perhaps the first sign of these tensions and their consequences was the dismissal by British
prime minister Rishi Sunak of his "beloved and long-defended interior minister on several
occasions", as part of a cabinet reshuffle, but related to the war, after she accused the
British police of tolerating pro-Palestinian demonstrations, which she described as "hate
marches supporting terrorism".
The move highlighted signs of increasing polarization over the repercussions of the war on
Gaza in Europe, from London to Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Madrid, and the widening gap
between popular European demands in general and the decisions of political governments.
The streets of European capitals witnessed increasing marches demanding an immediate
end to the war, which witnessed a partial return of the European Left, which used this
window to express its solidarity with the Palestinians and to mobilize public opinion against
the policies pursued by governments not only in the Middle East, but even at the level of
their economic, social and political management of the country.
Europe has always played a rather balanced approach to the Middle East and the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict, due to domestic and political sensitivities and calculations. However, it
seems that with the recent Gaza test, it turned out that the Old Continent does not have the
same influence as Washington in this file, as it turned out that, following the position taken
by the Union on the war, it lost the full confidence of the Palestinians.
It is no secret that the European influence in the Middle East has been continuously
diminishing for decades, as a result of Europe's marginalization of the actors in the region
from the files of negotiations, for example. But with the outbreak of the recent war, it
turned out that the continent, despite its political dimension, has become at the center of
the wider repercussions of the war.
As a direct consequence, the European Left was divided over its attitude to the war, which
further alienated the continent from its position as an honest broker on a number of fateful
issues in the global south. The contradiction in the European statements on the war on Gaza
is evident here, as observers accuse European policymakers of" double standards " when
their positions on the Ukrainian war are compared with those adopted in Gaza.
To demonstrate the confusion in the European position, following the Hamas surprise attack
on Israel, Oliver varhelyi, the European Commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood
Affairs, announced the immediate suspension of aid to Palestine.
This statement put the European institution in a very awkward position, as the EU's chief
diplomat, Josep Borrell, was forced to intervene directly and limit the damage caused by the
situation, assuring that the aid would not stop.
And this was not the only intervention of Borrell in similar situations, as he announced, after
an "unscheduled" visit of EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen to Israel in the middle of
last month, which caused a great controversy, during which she provided unprecedented
support to Israel when she said that "Israel not only has the right to defend itself, but it has
a duty to protect and defend its citizens", that "the official position of the European Union
on any issue related to foreign policy is determined, I repeat, by the official guidelines of the
European Union", and that positions and decisions are taken unanimously by the 27
members, meaning that von der Leyen "do not speak for the mass".
The division also seeped into the corridors of American politics, as the magazine "Politico"
published last Monday a leaked memo from the US State Department, criticizing
Washington's support for Israel, and calling on the US administration and President Joe
Biden to support the ceasefire in Gaza.
The memo showed the growing anger and growing division in the corridors of the American
policy-making over the Israeli war. She also noted that the American (pro-Israel) position
" contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest
actor, and this at Best does not serve American interests...".
The memo added, according to the American magazine, "we should publicly criticize Israel's
violations of international standards, such as the failure to limit offensive operations to
legitimate military targets... When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land grabs or
uses excessive force against Palestinians, we must publicly declare that this is contrary to
our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity,"he said.
The American website Axios published a report earlier this month in which it warned that"
America is starkly divided over itself because of the war between Israel and Hamas", on
university campuses, workplaces, city streets, inside the Capitol and the White House, and
the gap is widening.
The website, which specializes in the analysis of international affairs, explained that these
deep divisions may affect the reshaping of American policy.
Divisions over the war in Gaza have reached "Hollywood", the stronghold of American
cinema. The New York Times reported that the actors were divided between supporters of
the Palestinians, rejecting the "war of extermination" carried out by the Israeli army in the
Gaza Strip, and supporters of Israel collecting donations for it.
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