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On backdrop of Gaza escalation, Israel-Europe rift widens

On the backdrop of the Gaza escalation and European abstention at the UN Human Rights Council vote, mistrust keeps growing between Jerusalem and Brussels.
Israeli Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar delivers a speech during a UN Human Rights Council emergency meeting on occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem in Geneva on May 27, 2021.

PARIS — Spokespeople and decision-makers in Jerusalem were outraged with the decision adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council May 27 to establish an international permanent commission of inquiry to investigate alleged Israeli war crimes.

Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the decision, including states with an ambivalent human rights record, such as Bangladesh, Cuba and Pakistan. Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshall Islands, the United Kingdom and Uruguay voted against it — all traditional allies of Israel in the international arena. But for decision-makers in Jerusalem, the abstention of European Union members Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, along with some other countries, was particularly troubling and disconcerting.

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