Israel refuses to receive Josep Borrell for his position on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians

Israel refuses to receive Josep Borrell

The Government of Israel refuses to receive an official visit from the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, as a result of his positions and recent statements on the current escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Official Israeli sources explained to EFE that although there was no formal request by Borrell for an official visit to the Jewish state, there was a demonstration of intention after the inauguration of the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Borrell has not, however, been denied access to Israel and would be allowed to carry out a personal visit.

When asked by EFE about the reasons for the refusal of an official visit, the Israeli sources explained that it is due to the positions and statements recently put forward by the head of the European diplomacy regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. “There is no reason to reward him for this conduct,” they added.

The call for discord

This information comes after a tense phone call yesterday between Borrell and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who vehemently criticized him for the European Union’s positions on the conflict, which he described as “unbalanced” and said they contribute to violence.

Cohen further expressed his discomfort at Borrell’s recent statements “comparing Palestinian terrorist acts against Israelis to the counterterrorism activities of the Israel Defense Forces.”

Another element that has motivated the Israeli malaise is the recent statements by the European leadership on the controversial judicial reform promoted by the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, to the point that Cohen urged to stop “the intervention of the EU in matters of internal Israeli politics “.

The European Parliament hosted yesterday the debate Deterioration of democracy in Israel and the consequences in the occupied territories, which has also annoyed Israel and before which Borrell defended that the European Parliament “is free to debate everything it considers important”.

“I was worried and wondered why the European Parliament interferes in Israel’s internal affairs, once again, blaming me,” Borrell commented on the dialogue with the Israeli minister, also recalling that the EU’s foreign policy is in the hands of its member states.

Borrell made it clear that he tried to explain to Cohen, “in a very friendly way,” that it is “normal for parliamentarians to be concerned about the escalating spiral of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories,” and that there is a “need for all sides de-escalate,” alluding to an upsurge in violence that has left more than 80 Palestinians dead since the start of the year and 14 on the Israeli side.