The EU’s Representation in Israel announced that they canceled the 9 May EU Day Diplomatic Reception, which is accepted as the establishment of the European Union, in a post shared on social media.
The representation justified the cancellation of the reception because they “avoid giving a platform to a name whose views are contrary to the fundamental values of the EU”.
Ben-Gvir, the extreme right-winger whose speech at the reception caused controversy, said in a statement to the Israeli press, “It is a shame that the EU, which claims to defend democracy and multiculturalism, applies censorship against diplomacy. Friends, true friends know how to voice criticism and how to listen to them. ” used the phrase.
The Secretariat General of the Israeli government, which determines the programs of the ministers regarding the diplomatic receptions, appointed Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is known for his racist and discriminatory statements and actions, to attend the 9 May European Union Day Diplomatic Reception.
According to Israeli media reports, the EU Representation, in a letter to the Israeli government, opposed the appointment of Ben-Gvir to speak on EU Day.
The representative office said, “The EU does not agree with the political views of Ben-Gvir and his party. Many statements by Ben-Gvir in the past are against the values represented by the Union.” made his statement.
It was shared that the General Secretariat of the Israeli government stated that if Ben-Gvir did not request to participate in the program, a new name would be chosen instead, but that Ben-Gvir would attend the reception and make a speech there.
Right-wing extremists play critical roles in the Netanyahu government
In the coalition government established by Prime Minister Netanyahu at the end of 2022, names such as Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who are known for their racist actions and discourses against Palestinians, and supporters of Jewish settlers, were appointed to critical positions.
Known for his “Jewish supremacist” politics in Israeli politics, the far-right Ben-Gvir has long stood out as a controversial figure.
Ben-Gvir, known for promoting violent acts by Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, has been called “killers’ lawyer”, “devil’s advocate” and “criminal” by Palestinians for advocating in cases involving fanatical Jewish terrorist attacks.