EU Seeking Revenge for Lieberman's Holocaust Comments
The European Union is angered by comments made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and may sanction Israel over them, Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the EU is considering sanctions such as imposing additional taxes on products manufactured in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as having Israeli citizens living beyond the Green Line obtain a visa and stamp their passports before being allowed entry into Europe.
The EU, according to Channel 2, was upset by comments Lieberman made on Tuesday evening during a Hanukkah candle lighting with members of his Yisrael Beytenu party.
In addition to clarifying that Israel does not intend to give any money to the Palestinian Authority for the next four months, until it pays its debts to Israel, Lieberman also slammed the EU for its "Holocaust-like" attitude toward Israel.
"There are a few European leaders who are willing to sacrifice Israel without batting an eyelid," said Lieberman, referring to the fact that the EU did not condemn recent remarks by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, who publicly called for Israel’s destruction during a visit to Gaza, but chose to condemn Israel for announcing plans to build in the area known as E1 which connects Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim.
"Yesterday’s statement of condemnation by the EU ignored the call by Hamas to destroy Israel," Lieberman said during Tuesday’s event. "There are ministers in the EU, and I do not want to mention names, for whom the destruction of Israel is probably something obvious."
He added, "It also symbolizes how much we can rely on those countries that always say they understand Israel’s security needs. In our history we have experienced the same events, because the same people simply ignored. These are the same people in Europe who ignored those reports and knew for certain what was happening with the Jews in the concentration camps.”
The remarks echoed ones Lieberman made on Tuesday morning during an interview on Israeli radio, when he said that Europe has “slapped itself in the face” by ignoring Hamas’ threats as it ignored the Nazi death camps in the Holocaust.
“Once again, Europe has ignored calls for Israel's destruction," Lieberman said, adding, “We've already seen this at the end of the 1930s and at the beginning of the 1940s when Europe knew what was happening in the concentration camps and didn't act.”
Channel 2 News reported that Lieberman’s remarks came as a direct result of the actions of four European countries. The foreign ministers of Denmark, Ireland, Finland and Portugal opposed releasing a statement condemning Hamas and Mashaal’s remarks against Israel, and chose to only advocate condemning the Israeli construction, said the report.