Brussels, October 7th, 2023 – Exactly fifty years after the unprovoked Yom Kippur War, when Israel was attacked by Egyptian and Syrian forces on Israel’s holiest day, The Day of Atonement, the Jewish state is again under assault, this time from Iranian funded terrorist groups in Gaza. The attack, which began in the early hours of Saturday, has already been described as “unprecedented” in that Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel and sent dozens of terrorists into Israeli communities located on the border to Gaza. On Saturday evening the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) estimated the Israeli death toll to be over one hundred while some one thousand Israelis have been injured. Unconfirmed reports say that 52 Israelis have been abducted into Gaza.
Earlier in the day EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted that “she unequivocally condemns the massive attack launched by Hamas against Israel. “It is terrorism in its most despicable form,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter). European Council President Charles Michel condemned what he called “the indiscriminate attacks launched against Israel and its people inflicting terror and violence against innocent citizens.” In still another statement, EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell expressed “EU’s solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments. “
In a separate statement, ECI:s Founding Director Tomas Sandell argued for a complete overhaul of EU’s policy in the Middle East. He said, “Let this unprovoked and barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas mark the beginning of a new and more coherent EU-policy in the Middle East where Palestinian terrorism in all its forms is unequivocally rejected and condemned once and for all.
Let this also be the moment to immediately stop any funding of Palestinian school textbooks which promote and fuel Jew hatred and by doing so prolong the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and makes peace and normalization impossible.”
According to most historians, the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 came to define EU policy towards the Middle East conflict in that the Europeans sided with the Arabs in order to secure their oil shipments. In recent years, however, the European Union has modified its stance and drawn closer to the Jewish state.
In an appeal to the EU leaders on Saturday evening Sandell urged, “Let us stand united behind Israel as they defend themselves against the Hamas terrorists. Israel will need our unreserved solidarity, prayer and support not only today, when the war broke out but also in the next weeks and months to come. EU policy will not be evaluated based on how its leaders react to the terrorist attack but how consistently they stand on the side of the only democracy in the Middle East and its right to defend itself when attacked unprovoked by the enemies of free societies.”