'A week ago, US President Donald Trump unveiled his plan for Israel to permanently subjugate the Palestinian people and rename this brutal system of apartheid “peace.”
The details – which include Israel annexing vast tracts of the occupied West Bank, canceling the right of return of Palestinian refugees and stripping hundreds of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel of their citizenship – surprised no one.
Yet it took the European Union a full week to come up with its response.
A statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell mildly criticizes the American plan because it “departs from internationally agreed parameters” calling for a “two-state solution.”
The EU declares itself “especially concerned by statements on the prospect of annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank.”
“In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967,” the bloc states, before adding this kicker: “Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”
That line – hinting at potential EU action to hold Israel accountable – has already grabbed headlines.
But there is little reason to get excited.
Decades of complicity
There is practically zero chance that the EU will change its longstanding approach of unconditional support and rewards for Israel as it commits violation after violation, crime after crime.
Consider that Israel annexed occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. It also annexed Syria’s occupied Golan Heightsin 1981 – both measures rejected by the world and condemned as illegal in countless UN resolutions.
In the decades since, Israel has been aggressively colonizing occupied Palestinian land for Jewish-only settlements, a war crime.
The EU claims to oppose all these Israeli actions, and has had decades to “challenge” them.
But all it has done is pander to Israel, offering it further incentives to commit more crimes, secure in the knowledge that it will suffer no consequences.
Why should anyone believe that only the latest Israeli declarations about annexation cross some line, when none of Israel’s prior actions have triggered more than mild words of “concern”?'
Read more: EU: Russian annexation, bad. Israeli annexation, not so much