October 22, 2019

EU Foreign Policy Nominee Said World ‘Has to Live With’ Iran Wanting to Destroy Israel

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Fontelles, the nominee to be the European Union’s next foreign policy czar, said in February that the world has “to live with” Iran’s ambitions to destroy Israel.

Politico asked Borrell if the Trump administration “had a point” regarding its decision in May 2018 to leave the Iran nuclear deal given Iran’s frequent threats to destroy Israel. Borrell replied, “We have our own prospects, interests and strategy and we will continue working with Iran. It would be very bad for us if it goes on to develop a nuclear weapon … Iran wants to wipe out Israel; nothing new about that. You have to live with it.”

The European Council nominated Borrell to the foreign policy position on July 2; he is expected to be confirmed.

According to The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel, Borrell has also made myriad past statements that are critical of Israel, including criticizing Israel’s response to the Hamas-led May 2018 riots at the Israel-Gaza Strip border as reflecting “the dehumanization of the Palestinians by a large part of the Israeli political class and society.” He also lamented Israel’s “terrible bombings” targeting Hamas.

Additionally, Borrell tweeted in February, “Today marks 40 years of the Islamic revolution of #Iran. This regional power has changed a lot during this time. In 1976, the literacy rate was 35 percent. Now it’s 84 percent. In 1980, 5 percent of the women employed were university students. Now they are 47 percent, but only 16 percent of the workforce is female, and the unemployment rate of women is double that of men.” He also tweeted that the United States “has an obsession with Iran,” adding that “Iran can survive the sanctions if Trump is not re-elected. Otherwise, the regime could reactivate the nuclear program for military purposes and multiply its interventions in the region.”

However, in 2005 Borrell proclaimed Israel’s right to exist “as a Jewish state.”

The Anti-Defamation League tweeted, “Especially at a time of increasingly heightened tensions with Iran, EU foreign policy nominee Josep Borrell should clarify and retract his earlier statement” on having “to live with” Iran wanting to destroy Israel.