According to the Jerusalem Post, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel (photo: hdtpcar) has stated that
"we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas,... I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such"
The Belgian EU commissioner Michel is, however, himself not really in a position to pass judgements on others. He is amongst the prime accused of fuelling one of the worst wars and genocides in modern times, seeking personal profit from the resources of D.R. Congo. Dissident Voice carries an article on the links between Israeli economic interests, Belgian companies (such as the one of Louis Michel) and the plunder and genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An excerpt (my emphasis);
"Over the past fifty years, elite Israeli nationals have perpetrated conflict and injustice in Africa, fueled by and for minerals. Operatives associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services — the Mossad — maintain strategic criminal syndicates in competition and in partnership with other syndicates involving men like Philippe De Moerloose, Louis Michel, Viscount Etienne Davignon, John Bredenkamp and Tony Buckingham.
Israeli trained shock troops became Mobutu's bodyguards, with Mossad advisers. According to a report by the American Jewish Committee: after 1980 "Mossad agents, military emissaries, and a small group of private businessmen… replaced diplomats as Israel's main interlocutors with African leaders and political (mainly opposition) groups." The report cites rising involvement of private defense and security interests, especially in Angola, DRC and Central Africa Republic, since 1992."
Le rénouveau congolais (a website close to the main democratic opposition party in the DRC, the UDPS) has the following to say about Michel,
"Dear Friends, Mr. Louis Michel is not a diplomat. He is a diamond Merchant. Louis Michel is deeply involved (up to here) in the illicit plundering of the richness of R.D. Congo with Mitchy Express, his private company.
Whereas Louis Michel tells the world over that he does an humanitarian and philanthropic work in the R.D. Congo, local activists discovered with shock, at the time of his recent voyage to Congo's Western Kasaï province, that Mr. Louis Michel has a company of exploitation of diamond in the city of Tshikapa and carries out even an unfair competition (with the complicity of Kabila regime) to a Congolese entrepreneur by the name of Mr. Ntumba, owner of NTUMINES company."
Toward Freedom writes
"Louis Michel is EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian AID, a gatekeeper position that insures that millions of Congolese people suffer miserably. Louis Michel has been one of Kabila's strongest allies, and he played a pivotal roll in the 2006 electioneering of Joseph Kabila's "victory." Previous to his EU posting, Michel was a Belgian parliamentarian, minister and Vice Prime Minister, until 2004. He is reportedly a diamond merchant exploiting the diamond rich Tshikapa region of DRC. Michel also has ties to Congo's diamonds through the Societe Miniere De Bakwanga (MIBA), a mainstay of Belgian neocolonialism in Congo; Michel's son is reportedly directly involved at MIBA"
It is understandable that Michel seeks to improve his relations to the Israeli leaders in times like these. Perhaps they'll be cell-mates in The Hague one day.
Below a video of Michel at a LSE seminar, interrupted by Congolese protestors:
News links on the DRC: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, On Michel's Gaza: 1, 2, 3
Other bloggers on Congo: Bladfält12, Paolo12, JesMol, HBT-sossen, Lindestam, Björnbrum, Kaela, Europabloggen