The union representatives were reportedly slammed for criticizing Russia’s alleged humanitarian law violations while ignoring Israel’s
Representatives of the European Union faced a barrage of accusations of hypocrisy and double standards over their approach to Russia and Israel during Saturday’s Peace Summit in Cairo. The event, which was aimed at tackling the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hosted reperesentatives from over 30 countries and a number of international and regional organizations.
According to the Financial Times, “country after country assailed the EU’s representatives,” namely the prime ministers of Italy, Spain, Greece, the president of Cyprus, EU Council president Charles Michel, the bloc’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell and the foreign ministers of France and Germany.
“They were roundly accused of double standards and hypocrisy for condemning Russia’s breaches of humanitarian law, but not Israel’s,” the outlet reported citing people present at the event.
Many of the world’s emerging economies such as Brazil and South Africa had already been skeptical of joining the Western position on Russia, given the legacy of previous interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan led by the US and its allies.
That reluctance seems to have been well founded. Western nations have thrown their support behind Israel, which continues to routinely bomb Gaza, killing and injuring scores of civilians in the process. Over 4,300 Palestinians are believed to have been killed by Israeli strikes so far, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Last week, the Irish Times also reported that European Commision President Ursula von Der Leyen had been accused of hypocrisy on Gaza by her own staff. In a letter circulating within the bloc’s institutions, the EC president was reportedly condemned for “completely ignoring” Israel’s humanitarian violations while describing an allegedly “identical act” by Russia in Ukraine as “terror.”
Hamas’s initial October 7 attack on Israeli territories, which kicked off the latest escalation, was condemned by all members of the summit. However, a number of Arab leaders, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres nevertheless noted that “the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long” and that they did not deserve to be punished for the actions of the Palestinian resistance group.
“Nothing can justify the reprehensible attack by Hamas that terrorized Israeli citizens and those unwarranted attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said.
Meanwhile, Western leaders also expressed concern for civilians and the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. However, at the same time, they refused to explicitly condemn Israel’s continued strikes on the region, insisting that they support the Israeli government’s right to self defense.