Condemnation across Europe after Israel raid on Freedom Flotilla
European governments and their citizens appeared united in their criticism of an Israel raid that killed at least nine activists on the so-called Freedom Flotilla seeking to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.
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Israel would like closer ties to the European Union, but the process is on hold pending a lifting of the blockade on Gaza.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The Israeli separation barrier: A West Bank wall
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Last fall when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu came to Paris and heard strong words from President Sarkozy on Israeli settlement activity, it was understood in diplomatic circles that neither French or European positions were a main concern of the Israeli leader.
The Israeli attack is “a very big deal and contributes to further delegitimizing the Israeli regime across the European publics … but there isn’t a lot of leverage either way. The key player in this is the United States,” says London-based legal specialist Anthony Dworkin of the European Council of Foreign Relations.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon, and the UN Security Council, have both called for an investigation and the release of some 480 crew and passengers still held in Israel. Turkey as a NATO member has called for a meeting of that body, since at least four Turkish nationals were killed.
French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, considered in recent years to be part of a new set of pro-Israel thinkers in France, was in Israel Monday, where he participated in a debate with Israeli minister for culture Limor Livnat, saying that the raid on the ships and the publicity, “is more devastating for Israel than a military defeat.”
Mr. Moisi says the attacks play into a campaign to delegitimize Israel, but adds that “the main actor in the campaign is the Israeli government itself …. Israelis need to rethink dramatically what they are doing, but the problem is that what they are doing is very much who they are. The killings yesterday at sea didn’t make sense in international terms. But in Israel, in political terms, it did make sense.”