Von der Leyen fuels EU discontent after closely-watched Israel visit | Le Monde |
When President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen takes her seat at the table of the European heads of state and government in Brussels on October 26, she will undoubtedly be greeted with the utmost courtesy. The Commission president will also be perfectly affable: In this closed club of men and women who make set the course for the European Union (EU), putting on a good front is a must, even when you've taken a beating.
Von der Leyen was recently severely criticized on several occasions by the member states. She has been accused of overstepping her role by taking initiatives - some of them a misstep, as with the Israel-Hamas conflict - in foreign policy.
She has also been criticized for making decisions without consulting member states, like signing the EU-Tunisia agreement on migration. [see brutal comment from former EC VP Frans Timmermans]
There is concern over how much effort she has put into pleasing Washington when EU and US interests are not always aligned. Plus, her perpetual "squabble" with Charles Michel, the president of the Council, is seen as highly exasperating.
EU as Client State of Joe's America
Inside the Secret Rifts and Rows Consuming EU's Top Corridors
Biden trying to placate policy rift within the EU Commission ...
EU leaders head to White House for Biden summit on Israel-Hamas war, Ukraine | TOI |
WASHINGTON DC -- US President Joe Biden will welcome European leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen in Washington, at a summit set to deliver a message of unity amid the Israel-Hamas war and the war in Ukraine.
The EU-US summit takes place against a backdrop of global crises -- as war erupted after the Hamas terror group launched a devastating attack on southern Israel, and as fighting rages on in Ukraine.
American and European leaders will be keen to present a united front, seeking to strengthen their "strategic partnership."
A few days ago, US President Joe Biden hosted European leaders, including von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, at the White House for a summit intended to deliver a message of unity on conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.
In a statement released after the summit, the two sides condemned Hamas for its "brutal terrorist attacks across Israel" while expressing concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Joint Tripartite ?? Statement
The United States and the European Union and its Member States, representing nearly 800 million citizens, united by our values and bound together by the most dynamic economic relationship on earth, reaffirm our commitment to a transatlantic partnership that delivers for all our people.
Since the last U.S.-EU Summit in June 2021, the world has changed in unprecedented ways, and we have taken ambitious steps in response. Together, we are working to secure peace, stability, and prosperity regionally and across the world, including in our steadfast support for Ukraine.
We are deepening our cooperation to reflect the pressing challenges and opportunities of our time--strengthening our economic security; advancing reliable, sustainable, affordable, and secure energy transitions [true appreciation for explosion Nord Stream 1 & 2] in our economies and globally; reinforcing multilateralism and international cooperation; and harnessing digital technologies to work for, not against, our shared values of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are more united than ever.
Former fascist states of Hitler and Mussolini, Germany, Austria and Italy representing the Axis, are
blocking EU decision on a humanitarian pause in hostilities.
UNSC: Germany's Baerbock says fight is with Hamas, not civilians | DW News |
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addressed the UN Security Council, voicing strong support for Israel. She said Israel's security is non-negotiable but stressed that the fight against Hamas should be conducted "with the greatest possible consideration for civilians in Gaza."
What's the extent of U.S. aid to Israel in its war on Gaza? | Al Jazeera - Inside Story |
AUKUS agreement is center in our alliance ... pushing all the right buttons in friendly chat as Gaza is burning 🔥
Biden does not believe the death count from Hamas. Fucking immoral beast. Sitting high on the Hill in Washington DC, entertaining Australian ally and friend Albanese.
People in the North do not appreciate the lives of people of the South. The so-called "civilized" world versus the "barbarians".
Director center in Doha.
Al Jazeera reporter lost all of his family on an indiscriminate Israeli airstrike on an Gaza refugee camp.
Family of Al Jazeera Gaza bureau chief killed in Israeli air raid
The wife, son, daughter and grandson of Wael Dahdouh, Al Jazeera Arabic's bureau chief in Gaza, have been killed in an Israeli air raid.
Footage aired on Al Jazeera showed Dahdouh entering the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah [targeted by Israeli bombs in 2014] on Wednesday to see his dead wife, son and daughter in the morgue.
He was shown crouching and touching the face of his 15-year-old son, Mahmoud, who wanted to be a journalist like his father.
Later footage showed him holding the shrouded body of his seven-year-old daughter, Sham, seeming to speak to her as he looked at her bloodied face after the attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp.
Looking shocked, Dahdouh spoke to Al Jazeera on his way out of the hospital: "What happened is clear. This is a series of targeted attacks on children, women and civilians. I was just reporting from Yarmouk neighborhood about such an attack, and the Israeli raids have targeted many areas, including Nuseirat.
"We had our doubts that the Israeli occupation would not let these people go without punishing them. And sadly, that is what happened. This is the `safe' area that the occupation army spoke of.
Dahdouh's grandson Adam was declared dead two hours later.
News headlines Gaza on Anadolu Agency
Death toll in Gaza increased by 704, reaching a total of 5,791
The healthcare system is reported to have completely collapsed in Gaza
Gaza hospitals in `total collapse,' says Health Ministry
The healthcare system at hospitals in the Gaza Strip has totally collapsed, the Health Ministry in the blockaded enclave said Tuesday.
"Hospitals in Gaza have totally collapsed due to the Israeli war," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told a news conference in Gaza City.
He said 65 medics have been killed and 25 ambulances have been destroyed in Israeli strikes since Oct. 7.
"Twelve hospitals and 32 healthcare centers were forced out of service," al-Qudra said. "We are afraid that many more will stop operations in the coming hours due to lack of fuel."
According to the spokesman, Gaza's death toll from the ongoing Israeli airstrikes climbed to 5,791 people.
"The victims include 2,360 children, 1,292 women and 295 elders," he said, adding that 16,297 people were also injured.
"Children, women and elders make up around 70% of the victims," al-Qudra said.
The spokesman also said around 1,550 people are reported to be trapped under the rubble, including 870 children.
Full transcript of press meeting ...
Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia in Joint Press Conference | 25 October 2023 |
PRESIDENT BIDEN: The sun is over there. (The President removes his sunglasses.) I don't need these. (Laughter.)
Mr. Prime Minister, we've been in close touch since the moment you came into office -- please, sit down; I'm sorry -- since you came into office, and we've met all around the world.
And now it's wonderful to have you by my side here at the White House and -- as we advance our alliance even more -- more than it's already been advanced. It's strong now; it's getting stronger.
Before I get to the progress Australia and the United States have made today, I want to say just a very few words about the situation in the Middle East.
The anger, the hurt, the -- the sense of outrage that the Israeli people are feeling after the brutally inflicted devastation by Hamas is completely understandable.
Israel has the right and, I would add, responsibility to respond to the slaughter of their people. And we will ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself against these terrorists. That's a guarantee.
We also have to remember that Hamas does not represent -- let me say it again -- Hamas does not represent the vast majority of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip or anywhere else.
Hamas is hiding behind Palestinian civilians, and it's despicable and, not surprisingly, cowardly as well.
This also puts an added burden on Israel while they go after Hamas. But that does not lessen the need for -- to operate and align with the laws of war for Israeli -- it has to do everything in its power -- Israel has to do everything in its power, as difficult as it is, to protect innocent civilians. And it's difficult.
I want to thank the Israeli -- the Israelis and the Palestinian -- excuse me, and President Sisi of Egypt for working with the United States to make sure that food, water, and medical supplies are getting through to innocent people in Gaza.
The flow needs to increase, and we're working very hard with our partners to make that happen.
We're also working around the clock, together with our partners in the -- in the region, to secure the release of hostages and -- including American citizens behind -- left behind and held by Hamas and the safe passage of foreign nationals out of Gaza -- not just Americans but Australians and a whole range of people who are trapped in Gaza.
I also want take a moment to look ahead toward the future that we seek.
Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live side by side in safety, dignity, and peace. And there's no going back to the status quo as it stood on October the 6th. That means ensuring Hamas can no longer terrorize Israel and use Palestinian civilians as human shields.
It also means that when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.
It means a concentrated effort from all the parties -- Israelis, Palestinians, regional partners, global leaders -- to put us on a path toward peace.
In the past few weeks, I've spoken with leaders throughout the region -- including King Abdullah of Jordan, President Sisi of Egypt, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and just yesterday with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia -- about making sure there's real hope in the region for a better future; about the need -- and I mean this sincerely -- about the need to work toward a greater integration for Israel while insisting that the aspirations of the Palestinian people will be part -- will be part of that future as well.
I'm convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did -- and I have no proof of this; just my instinct tells me -- is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel and regional integration overall. And we can't leave that work behind.
And one more word on this. I continue to be alarmed about extremist settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank that -- pouring gasoline on fire is what it's like.
They -- this was the deal. The deal was made, and they're attacking Palestinians in places that they're entitled to be, and it has to stop. They have to be held accountable. And it has to stop now.
Prime Minister -- Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you for your partnership and your friendship, quite frankly, during this difficult hour.
Over the past few weeks and for many months before, we've seen each other and we've seen our alliance grow more critical than ever. And we need to make -- continue to make this important progress. In our discussions today, we've done just that.
Starvation as weapon of war being used against Gaza civilians - Oxfam America
Published: 25th October 2023
Just 2 percent of usual food delivered to Gaza since siege imposed
Starvation is being used as a weapon of war against Gaza civilians, Oxfam said today as it renewed its call for food, water, fuel and other essentials to be allowed to enter.
The international agency analyzed UN data and found that just 2 percent of food that would have been delivered has entered Gaza since the total siege - which tightened the existing blockade - was imposed on 9 October; following the atrocious attacks by Hamas and the taking of Israeli civilian hostages. While a small amount of food aid has been allowed in, no commercial food imports have been delivered.
As the escalation of the conflict extends to its 19th day, a staggering 2.2 million people are now in urgent need of food. Prior to the hostilities, 104 trucks a day would deliver food to the besieged Gaza Strip, one truck every 14 minutes.
"The situation is nothing short of horrific - where is humanity? Millions of civilians are being collectively punished in full view of the world, there can be no justification for using starvation as a weapon of war."
Despite 62 trucks of aid being allowed to enter southern Gaza via the Rafah crossing since the weekend, only 30 contained food and in some cases, not exclusively so. This amounts to just one truck every three hours and 12 minutes since Saturday.
Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam's Regional Middle East Director said: "The situation is nothing short of horrific - where is humanity? Millions of civilians are being collectively punished in full view of the world, there can be no justification for using starvation as a weapon of war. World leaders cannot continue to sit back and watch, they have an obligation to act and to act now.
Ahead of any agreement, failed top diplomat Antony Blinken made sure the credit for humanitarian aid into Gaza would be US - the 🇺🇸 United States of America 🇺🇸
The gap between White House rhetoric and reality, one can drive one thousand trucks through. 😡
New House speaker, first piece of legislation will be in support of our close ally Israel ...
New US House speaker kicks off term with resolution backing Israel, condemning Hamas | TOI - Reuters |
The new Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives began his job late Wednesday by introducing a resolution supporting Israel in its conflict with Hamas terrorists.
"The first bill that I'm going to bring to this floor in just a little while will be in support of our dear, dear friend Israel, and we're overdue in getting that done," Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson said in his acceptance speech, warning that America's "greatest ally in the Middle East is under attack."
The non-binding resolution declares the House "stands with Israel" and "condemns Hamas' brutal war." It calls on Hamas to immediately end attacks and release all hostages.
The resolution, which does not include funding for Israel's military needs, passed 412 to 10, with six Democrat members voting "present."
Nine of those who voted against were Democrats. The lawmakers said they opposed the resolution because it did not mention Palestinians who have been killed, Reuters reported. One Republican was also against the resolution.
Biden Promises a More Prosperous Middle East
As US resists ceasefire calls, what is Biden's endgame in Gaza? | Al Jazeera |
"Not only are they at odds with each other, but the higher priority of the administration appears to be supporting Israel, rather than making sure that there is no dangerous escalation," said Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute, a think tank that promotes diplomacy.
"There does not appear to be a clear endgame from the Biden administration," Parsi said. "When it comes to this strategic image, it's very difficult to be able to discern a clear strategy that actually would have the desired results."
A new Middle East without the Palestinian people, erasing a population from its homestead IS GENOCIDE.
My diaries on Palestine has stretched out over 18;years and there was no advance on peace, to the contrary ... the closest was in 2005 under leadership of the butcher of Lebanon, Ariel Sharon.
Sharon Decision West Bank Pull-out by 2008
WRITTEN QUESTION P-3054/08 by Caroline Jackson (PPE-DE) to the Commission
Subject: The EU's involvement in closure of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza
On 21 November 2005, the Council agreed that the EU should undertake a third-party role in the proposed 'Agreement on Movement and Access' formulated by Israeli and Palestinian authorities for the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza.
Consequently, the EU launched an 'EU Border Assistance Mission' at the Rafah crossing point to monitor the operations at this border. How can the EU justify its complicity in the total closure of the Rafah border crossing since June 2007? What is being done by the EU to limit detrimental impacts upon the welfare of Palestinian citizens caused by closure of the Rafah border crossing point?
Answer from the Commission (24 June 2009) ??
Published earlier @EuroTrib
Breaking Sharon WB Pull-out 2008 ¶ Secret EU Report & Rafah Border Open | by Oui on Nov 25th, 2005 |
Includes link to a very different European Union 😢
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, is addressing an emergency UN General Assembly session in an emotional speech:
“For millions of Palestinians, there is no home to go back to. For thousands, there is no family left to embrace, not by an act of God, but the act of a government represented here in this chamber.
“Why do some feel so much pain for Israelis and so little pain for us, the Palestinians?
“Why not feel a sense of urgency to end our killing? Nothing can justify war crimes.
“Let us all remember we are meeting here while Palestinians in Gaza are under the bombs.
“Remember that you are speaking while families are being killed, while hospitals are coming to a halt, while neighbourhoods are being destroyed, while people are fleeing from one place to another with nowhere safe to go.
“I urge you to choose your words carefully and to act accordingly. For all those mobilised against an even greater man-made humanitarian catastrophe, or of regional spillover, and these are worthy goals, we say stop the bombs or both will happen.
“Stop the bombs and save lives.”
END OF UPDATE