On the eve of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day, Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman (Jewish Home) slammed European Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton for supporting the Hamas-Fatah unity deal. “As they close their eyes to the damage done to Jews and support the agreement of Fatah and Hamas, a terror group, it shows that Europe has not learned its lessons from the Holocaust.”
In a statement Sunday, Ashton said that even if Hamas was considered to be a terror group by the EU itself, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority must continue. “Negotiations are the best way forward,” she said. “The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste. The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution. The fact that President Abbas will remain fully in charge of the negotiation process and have a mandate to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians provides further assurance that the peace negotiations can and must proceed," she added.
Wortzman said that if the EU had not learned a lesson, Israel had. “Our lesson is that now, like then, we cannot rely on Europe. Israel will continue to defend its vital security interests against all those who seek to destroy it, with or without Europe's help,” he said.
Speaking earlier, MK Eli Yishai (Shas) said that the EU's support for the Hamas-Fatah deal was, unfortunately, to be expected. “Europe's positive reaction to this deal is insulting and upsetting, but expected. Just like 70 years ago, Europe closes its eyes to the dangers that face Jews. Times have changed, but European hypocrisy hasn't,” he added.