Israeli leftists and activists shed no tears when they heard that eight European states are demanding that Israel pay them for destroying facilities they had donated to Palestinians in the West Bank. The member states of the West Bank Protection Consortium — Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark — are demanding 30,000 euros for solar panels and caravans used as classrooms. In a letter of reprimand to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the group wrote that the destruction and/or seizure of humanitarian aid violates Israel’s commitments under international law and causes suffering to Palestinian residents. Israel has full control of Area C, but is shirking its basic responsibility toward tens of thousands of Palestinians hemmed in by Israeli settlement outposts in the Hebron Hills region and the Israeli army’s training areas in the Jordan Valley.
Israel openly does all it can to force the Palestinians out of the region, preventing them from developing infrastructure and basic services. Europeans have stepped into this vacuum, taking on tasks that the Israeli rulers should be carrying out. The Europeans and their leftist Israeli allies are a thorn in the side of the Israeli government, and Area C has turned into a battleground. The victims of the fighting are tens of thousands of Palestinian residents and any hope of a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For years, the state has been taking hundreds of millions of shekels out of their pockets, handing them over to the Israeli farmers and manufacturers operating in the occupied territories. The money is said to be compensation for settlers’ losses due to the EU’s refusal to play along with the trampling of the Green Line and of the two-state solution by granting them the same reduced tariffs enjoyed by Israeli companies operating within Israel’s sovereign borders.
The Europeans learned the hard way that if they walk away from the administration and move on to sanctions such as the ones that resulted in the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa, Netanyahu will not hesitate to invoke the Holocaust and silence them with guilt. The fear of this discourse stops them from taking real actions. If Europe does not learn to cope with its guilty feelings over its history with the Jewish people, it can do nothing for the Palestinian people and lovers of peace.