'The EU can go straight to hell'

Likud Minister responds to EU demands that Israel investigate use of force against Arab demonstrators in Haifa: 'Let them go to hell.'

David Rosenberg ,

Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
צילום: מארק ישראל סאלם, פלאש 90

Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), lambasted the European Union on Wednesday, rejecting demands by the 28-member union that Israel investigate police behavior during a recent rally in Haifa.

On Tuesday, the EU issued a statement calling on Israel to probe police conduct during an Arab-Israel protest in Haifa last week.

"It is important to hold a quick investigation into the events last week that led to the serious injury of Mossawa Director Jafar Farah, and the Israeli government has made it clear that it supports this,” the EU said in a statement.

"The EU will continue to work to create an atmosphere for civil society activity in Europe, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and around the world."

Farah claimed that his leg was broken after a policeman attacked him during his arrest. A police officer who was involved in the incident that ended in Farah's injury testified this morning before the State Attorney’s Police Investigations Department (Mahash).

On Wednesday, Minister Steinitz responded to the EU statement, telling Radio 103FM that the EU “can go straight to hell.”

“This is the height of gall and hypocrisy,” continued Steinitz. “This is the same European Union which is now kissing-up to Iran and helping that country deal with US sanctions.”

“Iran is executing and torturing homosexuals, trampling women’s rights, supporting terrorism and the Assad regime which is dropping chemical weapons on its own people. Now they’re [the EU] is going to pick on us? We, a law-abiding country, when the case of Jafar Farah is already being examined by the Police Investigation Department? That just shows how nasty the European Union can be.”

Yesterday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan rejected the EU’s statement, calling the union a “biased and obsessive body”.

"The State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, does not need moral warnings from a biased and obsessive body like the European Union," Erdan said.

"A campaign of persecution brimming with hypocrisy against Israel and the attempt to blacken its name is doomed to failure. I propose to the EU not to interfere in the internal affairs of the State of Israel," the minister added.