Home Technology War in Gaza: European unease over possible Israeli war crimes
War in Gaza: European unease over possible Israeli war crimes

War in Gaza: European unease over possible Israeli war crimes

by host

Following the European summit’s strong condemnation of the 7 October attacks and its endorsement of Israel’s right to self-defence, a sense of unease pervades discussions of the Israeli military’s brutal actions in Gaza and the occupied territories. This unease is now evident even among the Jewish state’s staunchest allies in Central Europe. Against the backdrop of compelling scenes of widespread destruction, thousands of casualties and the complete collapse of essential services in this Palestinian enclave, calls are now being made for an international investigation into possible war crimes.

“It is not anti-Semitism to accuse Israel of waging war in Gaza and the West Bank in violation of international law,” writes Markus Michaelis in Die Tageszeitung. For the independent German daily, “Germany’s guilt against the Jews is not lessened by the fact that the German government remains silent about the violation of international law by the right-wing government in Gaza and the West Bank and the suppression of critical voices. Wolfgang Kaleck, a German civil rights lawyer, goes even further in his article in the Tagesspiegel, calling for an investigation by the International Criminal Court to avoid double standards: “The Hague prosecution should apply the same standards to the Gaza conflict as it did to Ukraine,” recalling that after the Russian aggression began, The Hague immediately sent specialists to investigate alleged war crimes on Ukrainian soil. Western countries “also have a political obligation to investigate allegations of international crimes – not only against their political opponents such as Russia or Hamas, but also against allies such as Israel,” Kaleck concludes, fearing that failure to do so could threaten the West with a loss of legitimacy.

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In the Czech Republic, traditionally an unwavering supporter of Israel that unites both left and right, dissenting voices critical of the disproportionate use of force in Gaza are now gaining traction. “Our approach to Israel is similar to that of football fans, characterised by uncritical fervour. But it is not in our interest to give it unchecked leeway,” writes Ondřej Houska in Hospodářské noviny, warning that further escalation could lead to a large-scale war in the Middle East that would drain resources that the West could provide to Ukraine. The daily reminds us that the Ukrainian-Russian war is far more important for the Czechs, since Ukraine’s defeat would mean Russian tanks on the Polish and Slovak borders.

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In partnership with Display Europe, cofunded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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