On Sunday, Israeli right-wing extremists vandalized the European Union embassy in Tel Aviv.
Sheffi Paz filmed herself and another activist spraying “EU get out” and “German money kills Jews” on the door of the European mission.
While there has been widespread condemnation of the action from European diplomats, no notice has been taken of how Paz comes from the very same far-right milieu whose favor the EU has been trying to cultivate.
Paz has been a leader of mobs targeting Black refugees and asylum-seekers in South Tel Aviv.
She and her cohorts have roamed the streets trying to foist condoms onto African men and women, a message that the African birth rate should be nil.
Platform for white supremacists
Last month another right-winger, Avishai Ivri, interviewed Paz to promote her latest racist campaign to expel Filipino caregivers whose children were born in Israel.
Ivri described Paz as Israel’s “number one anti-immigration activist.”
Ivri is a correspondent for TheRebel, the outlet of Canadian far-right extremist Ezra Levant.
TheRebel also promotes the views of British anti-Muslim agitator Tommy Robinson.
In the interview with Ivri, Paz recounts that she recently met Ayelet Shaked, the former Israeli justice minister who is notorious for publishing a call for genocide of the Palestinians.
Shaked, who has herself been warmly embraced by the EU, now heads the ultra-right-wing Yamina party in this week’s Israeli election.
“We have our conditions for supporting them,” Paz said of Yamina. “I hope they will meet our demands.”
Shaked apparently did meet those conditions, signing a deal with Paz that Yamina would only join a government that promised even harsher xenophobic policies.
Paz has previously been courted by Benjamin Netanyahu, a sign of how mainstream her racist politics are.
The prime minister met her earlier this year and endorsed her plans to target people from Africa.
EU hired genocidal racist
But who is Avishai Ivri?
In 2017, Ivri was hired by none other than the EU embassy in Tel Aviv to star in a propaganda video touting the benefits the European Union provides to Israel.
“The European Union. You think it’s anti-Israel, right?” Ivri began in the video. “Let me surprise you.”
The embassy was happy to employ Ivri as the face of its campaign despite – or more likely because of – how he openly advocated for genocide of Palestinians.
“Fuck it, wipe out Gaza,” one of his many tweets inciting wholesale slaughter of Palestinian men, women and children, states.
After The Electronic Intifada exposed Ivri’s repeated calls for mass murder of Palestinians, the EU embassy withdrew the promotional video.
But it never explained why it hired Ivri in the first place nor offered an apology.
It’s not hard to figure out, however.
The EU’s indulgence of Israel’s far right is part of its broader strategy of trying to appease Israel by offering unconditional political and economic support regardless of how brazen Israel’s war crimes and violations of international law.
But it hasn’t worked.
The slogans painted by Paz are a neat distillation of the anti-EU message that has been emanating from Israel’s government for years.
There has been a wave of indignation from European diplomats about Paz’s vandalism of the EU mission.
Emanuele Giaufret, the EU ambassador in Tel Aviv, demanded that the incident “has to be condemned.”
We “strongly condemn the vandalic attack,” said the Spanish embassy.
The Italian embassy called Paz’s actions “vile.”
The Austrian ambassador demanded the swift arrest of the culprits:
The spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also called it a “deplorable act of vandalism” and said the EU expected “swift results” from an investigation announced by the Israeli foreign ministry.
There’s a striking contrast between all this passionate fulmination over a spray-painted door and how calm and tolerant EU diplomats are when Israeli commanders order snipers to shoot children in the besieged Gaza Strip.
To this day, the European Union has refused to condemn this willful slaughter.
The message is clear: kill Palestinian children and European diplomats will sit down with you for lunch or a cozy chat.
But even the rhetorical anger was not set to last.
As the EU embassy reopened on Monday, Ambassador Giaufret signaled clearly that his team would respond in the only way it knows how: by rewarding a government that embraces racists and incites hatred with initiatives to further “strengthen EU-Israel relations.”