Two weekends ago, news broke that Hamas had infiltrated Israeli territory, killing hundreds of civilians while taking many others hostage. In the wake of these attacks, Western leaders offered their support to Israel, condemning the actions of the Palestinian militant organization. However, some in Europe question how far to go, taking issue with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s unqualified commitment to “Israel’s right to defend itself.” As the crisis now verges toward possible escalation, Europe must grapple with not just the consequences for the region itself but the possible ripple effects on interests farther afield. In particular, Ukraine’s ongoing struggle is likely to be top of mind, with Moscow exploiting the current conflict. To discuss all of this and more, Julien Barnes-Dacey and Hanna Notte join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.
Julien Barnes-Dacey is the director of the Middle East & North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He works on European policy towards the wider region, with a particular focus on Syria and regional geopolitics.
Hanna Notte is the director of the Eurasia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Her work focuses on Russian foreign policy, including Russia’s relations with the “Global South” and the Middle East in particular.