The Financial Times carries today a powerful op-ed by Lord Patten, former European Commissioner for External Affairs and co-chair of the International Crisis Group, condemning this financial role in maintaining the “blood-soaked” occupation.
At present, international donors meet most of the bill for the consequences of occupation that should be met under the Geneva convention by Israel. Over the last year, the cost to the EU and its members has risen to about €1bn.
How long can donors justify this expenditure? If Israel continues, as its prime minister says it will, to build settlements, making an agreement on a viable Palestinian state all but impossible, should the international community simply shrug its shoulders and write more cheques? The money that I spent in Palestine on behalf of European voters and taxpayers over five years as a European commissioner has drained away into the blood-soaked sand. Many projects funded by European taxpayers have been reduced to rubble by the Israeli Defence Forces. Is Europe’s role in the region to be the paymaster for intransigence and the use of disproportionate force?
(Thanks to Mondoweiss for once again pointing out a fascinating story.)