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’s aggressive comments were a reaction to a demand by the EU that Israel launch a probe into an altercation between Israel Police and a human rights activist. The activist, who was demonstrating for the right of Palestinians living in Gaza to flood Israel, was purportedly hurt by police when taken into custody.
“This is the epitome of chutzpah,” Steinitz told Radio 103FM. “The EU that is presently soft-talking Iran and helping the ayatollahs there overcome US sanctions.
“Iran assassinates and tortures homosexuals, squashes women’s rights, aids and abets terrorism and provides broad logistical and military support for the Assad regime that has no qualms about using chemical weapons against its own people.
“Now they propose to target us for special approbation? Israel, a state that meticulously safeguards human rights…” added Steinitz.
Israel has already embarked on a probe of the circumstances that led up to the supposed beating of the activist — Jafar Farah, director of the Palestinian NGO Mossawa, which claims it protects the human rights of Palestinians.
Farah put forth the claim that after being attacked by police one of the officers broke his leg during the subsequent arrest.
The EU has submitted a formal request to Israel that the Jewish state should refrain from expelling from the country Omar Shakir, the Israel director of Human Rights Watch.
Steinitz not alone
In addition to the comments made by Steinitz, another minister, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, rebuffed the EU’s entreaty. Erdan said that the EU was “a slanted and compulsive body.”
“There is a literal witch hunt chocked with hypocrisy against the Jewish state,” Erdan said. “Attempts to tar and feather Israel are abortive. I ask the Europeans to refrain from intervening in issues related to Israel that have nothing to do with them.”