EU slams ‘appalling’ video targeting its Israel envoy
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EU slams ‘appalling’ video targeting its Israel envoy

Settler group’s film depicts Lars Faaborg-Andersen in a Hannibal Lecter mask, accuses ambassador of supporting ‘terror state’

Still from a video produced by a settler group against EU ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, which shows the envoy in a Hannibal Lecter mask. (Facebook: screen capture)
Still from a video produced by a settler group against EU ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, which shows the envoy in a Hannibal Lecter mask. (Facebook: screen capture)

The European Union delegation to Israel on Monday slammed a settler group’s video that targets the EU ambassador and accuses him of setting up a “terror state.”

“The video posted by an Israeli settler group attacking the Ambassador of the European Union to Israel is appalling,” a statement from the EU said.

“Resorting to personal threats and slander can never be justified, despite differences of opinion,” it added.

The video, released a day earlier, charges that the ambassador was working to “establish a terror state.”

It accuses Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish head of the EU delegation in Israel, of “undermining Israel’s sovereignty, ignoring the law, building wherever he wants and establishing a terror state — on Route 1!” The group was apparently referring to prefabricated homes built in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.

The EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, in his Ramat Gan office, September 21, 2015 (Raphael Ahren/TOI)
The EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, in his Ramat Gan office, September 21, 2015 (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

The accusation relates to mobile homes presented by the EU to Palestinian and Bedouin families living in the West Bank area east of Jerusalem, which Israel has charged amount to illegal construction by the European umbrella body.

The video was produced by a settler group opposed to the creation of a future Palestinian state, which calls itself the “Jerusalem Periphery Forum.”

https://www.facebook.com/otef.jerusalem/videos/1563939557231333/

“Andersen must be restrained!” flashes onto the screen at the video’s conclusion, alongside a mock-up photo of Andersen with a Hannibal Lecter mask across his face.

In text on a Facebook post that carried the video, the group said that Andersen “is the man behind the illegal construction around Route 1, whose purpose is to create facts on the ground: territorial contiguity for a future terror state.”

In its response, the EU slammed the allegations “of the EU supporting terror” as “unacceptable.

“We appreciate that the Israeli government has quickly condemned the video and we trust that the Israeli authorities will take appropriate action,” the statement said.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold was quick to criticize the video on Sunday. His office released a statement saying that he “condemns the disrespectful way the European Union ambassador was presented.”

The EU rejected the criticism of its policy of housing aid, placing blame for the need for its assistance on Israel.

“The EU provides humanitarian assistance to communities in need in the West Bank in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. This includes providing shelter to otherwise homeless people. According to its obligations under international humanitarian law it’s actually Israel’s own responsibility as the Occupying Power to cater for the basic needs of the population in question. Failing that, Israel has the duty to agree to and facilitate international relief schemes and grant unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance.”

One left-wing lawmaker accused the settler group of “systematically working to sabotage Israel’s foreign relations.”

Meretz Knesset Member Tamar Zandberg said in a statement Sunday evening that she had “asked the attorney general to determine whether this is incitement, and to examine the organization’s sources of funding, out of concern it is using public funds.”

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

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