John Rosenthal, at the Weekly Standard’s blog, presents a revealing look at the EU’s response to the battle on the Mavi Marmara:
On Tuesday, one day after Israeli commandos raided a supposedly “humanitarian” flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip, Israeli Ambassador to the EU Ran Curiel appeared before the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in what would become a raucous session. Even before Curiel had the chance to speak, representatives of one parliamentary group after another took the floor to condemn Israel’s action.
As is often the case these days, France led the clownish rush to judgment. French MEP Nicole Kiil-Nielsen called the expedition towards Gaza a “flotilla of peace” and added, “I hope that the death of these pacifists, these activists, will lead us to say this time: ‘That’s enough! It has to stop! …Let us put an end to the impunity of Israel!'”
Finally, Curiel was able to show video images of Kill-Nielsen’s “pacifists” in action. But far from causing Europe’s solons to rethink their position, the introduction of real evidence served only (in Rosenthal’s words) to “prompt unrest in the chamber and objections from deputies.”
Again it was a French MEP, Eva Joly, who led the charge. She stated that there is “no guarantee that the images that were shown are in any way authentic.” Perhaps not, at that moment. But the images were better evidence of what had occurred than anything Joly, or the other Israel bashers, could point to.
It is difficult to view the tape of the EU parliamentary session and not conclude that the EU is no friend of Israel, but rather sides reflexively with Israel’s enemies. The Israelis should tune it out, if they have not done so already.
This event also undercuts the view of those who claim that Israel’s failure to release video of the incident more quickly was a significant factor in the PR battle. The reaction to this incident was based almost entirely on ideology. Those who condemned Israel were not interested in the evidence, and no evidence was likely to change the reaction appreciably.