European Court Embargoes Israel

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Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jensen Stidham, via Flickr

A Netherlands court ruled against its own government’s desire to send parts to Israel for its F-35 fleet. A leftist organization argued that the parts provided to Israel were being used to commit war crimes.

The F-35 is an advanced fighter aircraft meant to replace the aging but still capable F-16. It can perform air to air and air to ground missions, and has stealth capabilities which place it a cut above its adversaries. The BBC reports:

A Dutch appeals court has ordered the government to block the delivery of parts for F-35 fighter aircraft to Israel over concerns they are being used to violate international law.

The court sided with human rights groups who argued the parts provided from a Dutch warehouse contributed to law violations by Israel in Gaza.

The F-35 has been marred by scandals and cost overages, making parts hard to source. Its use against militant and terrorist groups like Hamas are limited, as they do not possess surface to air missiles to threaten them. Instead, their main capabilities shine against state actors like Iran. The Dutch government has made the argument that the weapon system is crucial to prevent a wider regional war. The Times of Israel explains:

The Dutch government said it would appeal the order, arguing the F-35s are crucial for Israel to protect itself from “threats in the region, for example from Iran, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.”

The US-owned F-35 parts are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners, including Israel, via existing export agreements.

European states generally follow American diplomatic initiatives, but many within the continent seek to follow a pro-Hamas policy. The end of Western hegemony might not come from exterior threats, but from its own contradictions.

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