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Why can’t a European leader express full support for Israel in the face of Hamas barbarity?

Ursula von der Leyen, and Roberta Metsola visited kibbutz Kfar Aza where Hamas committed a massacre.

Why is support for the State of Israel in the face of the Nazi barbarism of Hamas terrorists who came from Gaza to massacre Israelis and other innocent citizens of various countries on 7 October the subject of such controversy and criticism when it is so obvious, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

This is the question I ask myself in view of the positions taken in some European circles and in some media after the visit to Israel of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen the day after the massacre, accompanied by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who came to express Israel’s “right and even duty to defend and protect its population” and to call for the release of all the hostages kidnapped by Hamas.

They also expressed their horror after visiting Kibbutz Kfar Aza, where babies, children, women and the elderly were murdered in a manner unimaginable by any normal human being. Considered worse than Daech! Real Nazis came to kill as many Jews as possible in all the communities bordering the Gaza Strip.


Here’s what Ursula von der Leyen had to say: “I was in Kfar Aza today. What I saw and heard breaks my heart. The blood of people killed in their sleep. The stories of innocent people burned alive or slaughtered in their homes. Parents hiding their newborns before facing the terrorists. Children and the elderly torn from their families and taken hostage, even Holocaust survivors. Over 1,300 human beings have been murdered by the barbaric Hamas terrorists fighting Israel.’’

The President of the Commission is criticized for her “bias” towards Israel and her alleged neglect of the Palestinian side. But which part of Palestine are we talking about? The population of Gaza, victim for years of the dictatorship of an Islamo-fascist organization on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations?  An organization which has nothing to do with our European values of justice, freedom, morality and democracy… Which has nothing to do with the Palestinian people, who must free themselves at all costs. Instead of thinking about the well-being of the 2 million Gazans, it’s preoccupied with amassing rockets and other missiles with money from Iran, its financial backer.

Since the mid-1990s and the Oslo peace accords, the EU and its member states have given billions to the Palestinians. Much of the 691 million euros budgeted for aid by the EU alone is channeled into Gaza, where it immediately disappears into the Hamas-controlled terror project. Tons of concrete and other building materials intended for housing and schools are immediately stolen for use in the kilometers of tunnels where Hamas leaders plan massacres. In underground workshops, tens of thousands of lethal missiles – each a war crime – are made from stolen water pipes, chemicals, copper ripped from cables and other materials.


‘’We are friends of Israel. When friends are attacked, we stand by them,’’  said  von der Leyen, as did 500 members of the European Parliament in a resolution passed in Strasbourg.

What do we see now? EU officials complaining about her support for Israel in the face of a pogrom perpetrated by Hamas against Jews. Scandalous! Make no mistake: this criticism has nothing to do with the President of the European Commission transgressing her foreign policy powers. No, it’s because she supports Israel!

It bears repeating: the sole objective of Hamas, its DNA, is the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world and of the Jewish people.

There’s a disturbing lack of moral clarity when Mrs von der Leyen is criticized for her “unconditional support for one of the two parties”.

However, this moral clarity was clearly demonstrated after 9/11, after the terrorist attacks in Brussels and after the Bataclan in Paris.

It is also demonstrated by European experts in security and military affairs, who rightly stress that Israel has no choice but to destroy Hamas, and who warn of the dangers of contagion to continental Europe from the terrorism exported by Hamas.

Hamas is the heir to Daech, and the world, including the EU, has understood the need to destroy the terror of the Islamic State.

Is a Western life more valuable than a Jewish one? Why must we be “impartial” when it comes to the murderous barbarity committed by a terrorist group if it occurs in Israel?

Proportionality is also mentioned. What is proportionate when your neighbor is determined to destroy you, hiding behind women and children, using them as human shields? What would you do if hordes of terrorists arrived in the skies over the  Tomorrowland festival in Belgium to kill as many people as possible?

What would you ask of your own government if hundreds of thousands of Europeans (comparing population sizes in relative terms) had been massacred? Would you seek impartiality? Would your answer take into account “both sides”?

It may have escaped your notice that reported cases of anti-Semitism in recent weeks have risen by 1400%. Synagogues have been attacked and defaced, and Jews are under increased protection. The world is turned upside down. The victim is attacked and those who support terrorism walk the streets with impunity. Is this a recognition of European values?

We share the concern for the civilians caught in the Gaza Strip. It is lamentable that Hamas should choose to fire rockets and operate a terrorist network in a densely populated area, using schools, hospitals and apartment blocks as cover, and treating its own population as human shields. We repeat: this is a war crime. But it is cynical and deliberate. Israel is doing everything it can to avoid such losses. And it is taking the unprecedented step of urging civilians to move to stay out of harm’s way.

As far as humanitarian aid and support is concerned, we remind you, as UNWRA and the Red Cross have stated, and as has been repeatedly emphasized, that Hamas uses materials and funds it receives from Qatar and Iran to support its terrorism at the expense of the poor and needy citizens of the Gaza Strip.

Israel, on the other hand, although not obliged to do so, has been supporting the people of Gaza for years, providing them with electricity, water, goods and jobs.

Dozens of Arab countries around the world could welcome Gazan citizens for a limited time, until Israel has finished destroying the Hamas terrorists. The fact that they refuse to do so is an indictment. They should be pressured to save lives.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to pay a heavy price in human lives for the operational imperative of minimizing civilian casualties. Hamas deliberately exploits this situation.

There can be no “two sides” in the fight against terrorism; there were none in the defeat of the atrocious acts of the Nazis. There weren’t in the fight against Daech. And there can be none in the fight against Hamas. Because Hamas won’t be satisfied until it achieves its aims: to destroy the Jewish people worldwide, then attack the rest of the “infidels” in the West.

Anyone who criticizes the President of the European Commission, a woman who has set an example of defending European values by supporting Israel against terror and barbarism, is either blind or anti-Semitic. Yes, I’ll say it again: criticizing Mrs von der Leyen is to play into the hands of Islamists and anti-Semites.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, and the president of the European Council should follow the example of their Commission colleague and express their support for Israel by visiting the site, instead of defending an indefensible “proportionality”.

Yossi Lempkowicz is editor in chief of European Jewish Press (EJP) and senior media advisor to Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA).

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