Amira Hass: Europeans, your denunciations are seen by Israel as lacking urgency. You must implement painful sanctions

Amira Hass

September 06, 2017

Holland, Belgium and France: It’s not enough to condemn with just words the Israeli policy of destruction, which damages equipment and buildings funded with your taxpayers’ money. It’s good that you are angry, but the pace of the accumulation of your anger lags far behind the galloping and dangerous pace of the bulldozers of the Civil Administration in the West Bank and the Settlements Defense Forces.

The condemnations are seen as lacking urgency. You must take real actions. Yes, open and declared sanctions that have a path to becoming more severe. Painful sanctions. This may be the last chance to remove the average Israeli, including business people, tourists, judges, scholars, farmers and foreign soccer consumers from their indifference and criminal complacency.

Stop being afraid of Israeli emotional blackmail. Israel trades in the memory of our families murdered in Europe in order to speed up the expulsion of the Palestinians from the bulk of West Bank territory to the enclaves of the Palestinian Authority. This is the intention behind all the demolitions and confiscations and bans on construction, herding and field irrigation. Whoever plans and implements this small, gradual expulsion is already thinking about the big expulsion, to Jordan. And what will you do then? Issue condemnations and send water tankers and tents to those expelled?

On August 24, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Development Cooperation Minister Alexander De Croo published an official condemnation of the confiscation of the trailers to be used for 1st through 4th grades in the Palestinian village of Jubbet Adh-Dhib, and the confiscation of solar panels for the school at the Bedouin encampment of Abu Nuwwar.

The Belgians noted they were among those who had funded that equipment. “[Belgium] will continue to work together with its partners, as in the past, to ask the Israeli authorities to end these demolitions,” says the Foreign Ministry statement.

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