‘The EU can go to a thousand hells,’ says Israeli minister

A senior Likud minister lashed out at the EU for its “gall” and “hypocrisy,” after the Europeans criticized Israel’s treatment of human rights activists.

By: World Israel News Staff

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday said that the European Union could “go to a thousand, thousand hells,” escalating an already tense standoff between a number of European countries and Israel.

Steinitz was responding to the EU’s demand that Israel investigate an incident last week in which an Arab human rights activist was injured, allegedly while in police custody, after demonstrating in favor of Hamas-organized rioting along the border fence with Gaza.

“This is the height of gall and hypocrisy,” Steinitz said in an interview with Radio 103FM. “This is the same European Union which is now kissing-up to Iran and helping that country deal with US sanctions.

“Iran is executing and torturing homosexuals, trampling women’s rights, supporting terrorism and the Assad regime which is dropping chemical weapons on its own people.

“Now they’re [the EU] is going to pick on us? We, a law-abiding country…” added Steinitz, who noted that Israel was already investigating the case of Jafar Farah, director of the Palestinian human rights NGO Mossawa, by the Police Investigation Department.

Farah claimed that his leg was broken after a policeman attacked him during his arrest. A police officer who was involved in the incident that ended in Farah’s injury testified this morning before the State Attorney’s Police Investigations Department.

The EU vs. the US

In addition to demanding an investigation into the circumstances of Farah’s beating, the EU has asked Israel not to deport local director of Human Rights Watch Omar Shakir.

The EU has been critical of Israel’s actions to protect its border fence from being overrun by thousands of rioting Gazans, including arms terrorists belonging to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

The EU has also opposed the Trump administration’s pullout from the Iran nuclear arms deal and its demand that Iran face new sanctions unless it meets a list of US demands. Israel strongly supports the Trump administration’s handling of Iran, as outlined this week in US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech.

The US, meanwhile, has supported Israel’s right to defend its border and has refrained from interfering with Israel’s treatment of the Farah incident or Israel’s decision to expel Shakir.

Steinitz not alone

On Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan rejected the EU’s statement, calling the union a “biased and obsessive body”.

“The State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, does not need moral warnings from a biased and obsessive body like the European Union,” Erdan said.

“A campaign of persecution brimming with hypocrisy against Israel and the attempt to blacken its name is doomed to failure. I propose to the EU not to interfere in the internal affairs of the State of Israel,” the minister added.