BRUSSELS (The Thursday Times) — The recent sharp escalation between Israel and Hamas, marked by a large-scale offensive launched by Hamas on October 7, 2023, has triggered significant reactions globally. In the midst of this conflict, a statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stirred controversy. Following a tweet in which von der Leyen condemned the attack by Hamas as “terrorism in its most despicable form” and asserted Israel’s right to self-defense, she faced backlash from European Parliamentary Member Clare Daly.
Who do you think you are? You're unelected, and have no authority to determine EU foreign policy, which is set by @EUCouncil. Europe does NOT "stand with Israel." We stand for peace. You do not speak for us. If you've nothing constructive to say, and you clearly don't, shut up. https://t.co/9uEklDIIiE
— Clare Daly (@ClareDalyMEP) October 8, 2023
Von der Leyen’s tweet aligns with a broader sentiment among several European leaders who have condemned the Hamas attack and expressed solidarity with Israel. This stance was publicly articulated not only by von der Leyen but also by European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
Clare Daly, on the other hand, criticized von der Leyen’s statement in a tweet, questioning her authority on determining EU foreign policy, given she is not an elected official. Daly emphasized that the EU stands for peace, thereby distancing the bloc from von der Leyen’s pro-Israel stance and urging von der Leyen to refrain from making unconstructive statements.