EU Defends Silence on Abbas Speech

YERUSHALAYIM -

The European Union was notably silent after Mahmoud Abbas’s virulently anti-American, anti-Israel speech earlier this week.

But on Thursday, an EU spokesperson in Brussels told The Times of Israel that “our policy is not to comment on comments.”

Abbas’s comments included the charge that Zionism was no more than a European “colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism,” and was a plot to further European interests at the expense of Palestinians.

Israeli leaders, opposition leaders, condemned the speech as hateful and false.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) called on the E.U. to condemn Abbas.

“The Palestinians cannot continue to finance terrorism and ask for an embrace and support from the Europeans,” she told the E.U.’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, according to a readout of their meeting distributed by her office.

The EU official reiterated the organization’s policy: “Our position is based on the Oslo Accords and on the international consensus embodied in Security Council Resolutions,” referring specifically to United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 of 1980, which condemned Israel for annexing East Yerushalayim.

“Our partners know very well where we stand and we have made it very clear. We have also made clear what we expect from both sides,” the spokesperson said.

Washington was equally a target of Abbas’s venom. Among other things, he rejected the developing peace plan and called for his [President Donald Trump’s] “house to be destroyed.”

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley felt compelled to comment on the comment, and said Washington is “not going to pay to be abused,” referring to aid to the Palestinians through UNRWA and other conduits.

In an interview with Voice of America, Haley said: “Don’t think that you can sit there and say hateful things about us and turn around and write you a check. It’s wrong in every turn,” she said.