This all happened, and there is more, on the backdrop of black Monday in Gaza two weeks ago. These are harbingers, and not of spring. They are making us realize that we are losing in the international battlefield. Mainly in Europe, but also in the United States, where the Democratic Party is becoming a European branch concerning Israel. And the Democrats will rise to power again sometime, maybe even in the not-so-distant future.
Our euphoria following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, the massive bombardment of Iranian targets in Syria, this time claiming responsibility for the strikes, the US Embassy move to Jerusalem and Israel’s Eurovision win, came to its end sooner than expected. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a king for two weeks. That’s over. Because with all due respect to the wonderful and important alliance with Trump, in the Western world Israel is left almost alone with Trump.
Hamas has made it its mission to harm Israel’s international status, to stir up Israel’s Arabs, to slightly increase Israel’s ostracism—and the goal has been fully accomplished. It would be an illusion, however, to think that this conflict is only with Hamas. The 62 fatalities, who were mostly Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, were a match that sparked much deeper and more serious criticism. For years, Israel hasn’t been doing or initiating anything, and if it actually does something, it’s usually to announce the construction of more housing units in the territories.
Just several days ago, Tom Friedman blasted Hamas in the New York Times. He is adopting Israel’s justified claims. But what is Israel doing in Judea and Samaria? There is no Hamas there. There, despite everything, there is security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. But the government is insisting on more construction, on approving more outposts, on another Regulation Law, so that Israel won’t only be hated by its haters, who will only settle for a suicide, but by its friends as well.
Israel’s ruling party has already decided on an annexation. Granted, this disastrous decision to establish a binational state has no practical meaning, but it has a lethal impact on the global public opinion.
How can anyone complain about the Palestinian Authority, when Israel is single handedly thwarting the chance for a separation? Creating one state serves Hamas and the BDS movement, not the Zionist vision. That’s the problem that is making more and more Jews and friends despair.
It’s not the only reason: The cancellation of the Western Wall plan and the surrender to the Haredim on the conversion issue are also part of the Israeli Right’s campaign against Israel. The US Jewry is a strategic component of power. But Israel’s friends, and they’re the majority, want a Jewish and democratic state. They don’t want a Haredi and binational state. Neither do most Israelis.
This government, thanks to its leader as well, has an impressive list of achievements, including tightening relations with previously hostile regimes, a stable economy, a growing recognition of Jerusalem and stopping the surrender to the ayatollah regime. But these important achievements could go down the drain in light of the hostility being fostered by Israel, both because of the deliberate settlement deep within the Palestinian area and because of zero initiative vis-à-vis the Palestinians, in the West Bank and in Gaza.
I am writing this column from Europe, where I participated several days ago in a meeting with senior European Union officials. I presented blatant arguments against the aid provided by EU and European countries to NGOs that are part of the demonization campaign. And then two statements arrive—one from Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman about the construction of thousands of housing units in Judea and Samaria, and another from Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz that “Europe can go to a thousand, thousand hells.”
We have excellent claims against the global hypocrisy, the double standards, the campaign of lies. But the Right, in its actions and declarations, is reinforcing the anti-Israel campaign.