Even in 2016, some things proceed perfectly normally: EU officials are in Gaza today calling on Israel to lift its blockade. The AFP:
Ambassadors from 22 European Union states visited to assess the state of Gaza’s reconstruction in a trip organised and led by the EU.
It was the first such delegation since late 2014, which took place after that summer’s devastating 50-day war with Israel left 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis dead, according to the United Nations.
Ralph Tarraf, head of the EU delegation to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, called on Israel to end the blockade on Gaza.
He called for “steps to bring about a political, security and economic change.”
He said all sides should work towards “ending the closure, taking into account the legitimate security concerns of the Gaza Strip’s neighbours.”
This is the kind of empty posturing under a thin cloak of diplomacy that gives the European Union a bad name and ensures that EU efforts in the Middle East have essentially no impact on facts on the ground. After all, it’s not just Israel maintaining the blockade. Egypt is an equally committed partner these days in the effort to starve Hamas of weapons and weapons-making supplies. Yet these EU officials have neglected to address Egypt in their rush to attack Israel.
One can never know what’s in another’s heart; we don’t know whether it’s mere foolishness or something darker that animates these officials. Either way, even if a single-minded focus on Israel is good politics back home, it makes for terrible foreign policy.