BERLIN – Just when the vision, or delusion, of Europe’s unity is facing a grave reality test, it’s amazing to see how one issue manages to unite the failing, disintegrating European bureaucracy: The grudge toward Israel.
Even the Euro crisis, which threatens to sink European unity into a new nationalist storm, cannot ease the inherent hostility of the European apparatus, located in Brussels, to the Jewish state. By now it looks like a sick obsession that blinds the patient’s eyes and prevents him from seeing his real problems.
Almost not a day goes by without the office of “foreign minister” Catherine Ashton
or the EU “embassy” in Israel issuing a condemnation of Israeli actions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip or inside Israel. With zealousness that can only attest to disproportional devotion, EU emissaries – mostly with the help of Israeli collaborators who enjoy generous funding – monitor anything that could be perceived to undermine the rights of Palestinians or Israel’s Arab citizens.
For a long time now, the Europeans have not been protesting only matters pertaining to the occupation; rather, they are working methodically to undermine the very existence of Israel as an independent Jewish state.
Large sums of money provided to fund activities in different areas have created dangerous dependence between Israel and the European Union. Had this investment been aimed at developing human resources for the benefit of the EU there would be nothing wrong with it. However, the Europeans are aiming to exploit and rule: Take advantage of what Israel can give them, while at the same time dictate how it should conduct itself.
An absurd situation has been created whereby the European Union, which cannot manage its own affairs efficiently, is working with great determination to decide for Israel how it should behave.
Meanwhile, the Europeans are pouring huge sums of money into the Palestinian Authority without a hint of criticism about Palestinian actions. Senior EU officials refrain from meeting with Israel’s foreign minister, yet preach for dialogue with Hamas. And in at a time where the Middle East is burning because of endless violations of human rights, condemnations are constantly being issued against Israel.
It appears that the Europeans have been taken captive by the Arab magic formula, whereby the conflict with Israel is at the heart of the region’s problems and only its resolution – that is, making Israel capitulate to Arab demands – will bring peace and stability. And please don’t bother the Europeans with other explanations. It could undermine their stability.
Israel has an interest in good relations with Europe. The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Haifa Tuesday “in appreciation of his firm stance against anti-Semitism, his work to commemorate the Holocaust and his devotion to peace.” However, the Europeans must understand that such ties can only develop on the basis of dialogue between equals, while completely refraining from any attempt to undermine Israel’s sovereignty.
If someone in Brussels is truly interested in fruitful, mutual relations with Israel, which has much to offer, they should start to change their approach.