Judy Asks: Has the war in Gaza irreversibly damaged Europe's credibility?

Opinion piece (Carnegie Europe)
14 March 2024

Europe’s response to the war in Gaza has greatly undermined its credibility in the Middle East and beyond. Europe and the West more broadly framed their defense of Ukraine as a defense of the international order and the principles of international law. Many countries outside the West have always felt that Europeans were selective in how they approached international law. Europe’s failure to take concrete steps to restrain Israel’s military actions in Gaza and to reduce civilian casualties will be seen as further proof of that.

Europeans should not be surprised when they are yet again seen as guilty of double standards. It will be harder for Europe to rally support for Ukraine in international fora, and European calls for solidarity on other issues are also likely to fall on deaf ears. In many cases, Europe’s partners in the Muslim world will have no choice but to continue to work with it. But, if they have a choice, they may increasingly prefer to work with other partners, especially China.

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