EU Staffers Criticize Bloc’s Response to Gaza Conflict

Fri May 24 2024
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LONDON: Over 200 EU staff members have signed a letter to key officials criticizing the bloc’s humanitarian response to the conflict in Gaza.

The letter, signed by 211 members, also voiced growing concern over what they perceive as a lack of attention to the plight of Palestinians, particularly following the International Court of Justice’s January ruling indicating a credible risk of genocide in Gaza.

In the letter, the signatories emphasized that Israel’s departure from a rules-based global order in favor of one dominated by the use of force contradicts the core values of the EU.

“It was precisely to avert such a grim world order that our grandparents, witnesses of the horrors of World War II, created Europe,” the signatories declared.

“To stand idly by in the face of such an erosion of the international rule of law would mean failing the European project as envisaged by them. This cannot happen in our name.”

Addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, and European Council Chief Charles Michel, the letter urges EU leaders to advocate for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and a cessation of arms exports by EU members to Israel.

The signatories expressed disappointment in the EU’s perceived inability to respond effectively to these urgent calls, asserting that it contradicts the values both the EU and they as individuals uphold.

This action follows a recent demonstration in Brussels where approximately 100 EU staff members protested against the conflict. Manus Carlisle, one of the participants, described the protest as a peaceful assembly in defense of the fundamental rights, principles, and values upon which European institutions are founded.

Zeno Benetti, one of the organizers of the letter, said that they couldn’t believe the silence of EU leaders on the Gaza crisis, particularly in light of their vocal stance on human rights.

He stressed that turning a blind eye to such events would be unacceptable, as it would compromise the very values the EU claims to champion.

Benetti further emphasized the importance of upholding principles of international law, which he believes are currently under threat.

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