(JTA) — A European Jewish group has accused the European Union of providing "legitimization" for terrorism with its criticism of Israel.
The accusation came in an open letter by the chairmen of the Brussels-based European Jewish Parliament sent on Wednesday to the presidents of the European Council and other E.U. institutions. The letter was in response to the E.U.’s condemnation on Dec. 11 of Israeli policies toward the Palestinian Authority.
“We regret the one-sided statement which does not serve peace initiatives, but only strengthens the ambitions of terrorist organizations,” the letter by Joel Rubinfeld and Vadim Rabinovitch read. The E.U. statement “provides legitimization for terrorist acts” by “condemning the actions of the only real democracy in the Middle East.”
The letter noted Hamas leader Khaled Meshal’s recent calls for Israel’s destruction.
The E.U.’s statement urged Israel not to freeze the Palestinian Authority’s funds and to cancel planned construction in the West Bank. It called on the Palestinians to “use constructively” their newly gained non-member state observer status at the United Nations.
On Dec. 11, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also harshly criticized some of his European counterparts and accused them of intentionally ignoring calls for Israel’s destruction.
"In the eyes of some European foreign ministers, the destruction of Israel is a given," he said. He then mentioned Europe’s failure to address the threat against Jews prior to the Holocaust.
"The Europeans decided to pressure our side alone and ignore the terror organizations on the Palestinian side,” he added.