Europe splits on the path to Jerusalem

The most striking event about the UN vote that condemned the US after Donald Trump’s decision to transfer his country’s embassy to Jerusalem despite the fact that it has not only been the capital of Israel for decades, but also of the Jewish people for 3000 years, has been how the Europeans voted. Britain (that will soon be leaving the EU because of Brexit), France Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and so many other “beacons of democracy” have joined Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China in voting against the US. There were 128 votes against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and only 9 against, but 35 abstained and 21 states sat on their hands. Therefore, 65 nations actively decided not to vote against the US, President Trump and Israel, and this isn’t a small number.

Furthermore, what must also be considered is that the EU chose, notwithstanding pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron, not to vote as a united front. Many of the continent’s eastern countries abstained, one in particular, the Czech Republic, even expressed its desire to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem as well. This was an act of courage stimulated by a correct attitude by its interlocutors.

However, what is abundantly clear is that European unity is a farce, a fabricated political attitude because there’s not a single issue in which France agrees with Germany or Germany thinks like Italy or the Netherlands is close to Hungary… Disagreements over the continent’s policies in relation to the economy and immigration have created secessionist movements – the foremost example being Brexit.

Actually, the only issue where the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini can always expect European consensus is vis-à-vis Israel: the insisting, exaggerated intromission in the so called “peace process” through a reiterated, active condemnation of the “occupation” and, alongside this issue, of any building in the territories, has always been voted upon unanimously.

The EU’s strange stance is that labeling, singling out all of Israel’s activities in the territories, has been an almost homeopathic care of the Israeli illness, that it didn’t do any serious damage to its economy, that it doesn’t interfere with the very good economic relations that have been lodate by the new EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret. While he was writing his op-ed on the Jerusalem Post, in Tel Aviv there was an art exhibition sponsored by the EU, which featured the works of Palestinian photographers who had documented life under occupation”. It goes without saying, but it was a very apologetic comment in relation to the Palestinian interpretation of the situation.

Actually, this attitude, the diplomatic replay in conferences, documents, congresses, assembly meetings of the sins of Israel, is very dangerous, the continuous substrata of prejudice that Europe creates around Israel is the worst damage that can be done because it supports an alienated public opinion that becomes very extreme when in touch with ultra left or Muslim environment; Europe as a matter of fact promotes Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), and terrorism (for the relation between the two see Dan Diker’s book…). Europe’s ideological attitude lacks the sense of history, balance and modesty that a complicated process like this should inspire.

It’s crazy to see Europe proudly once again propose the politics of concessions that has already failed numerous times, and to promote European contempt in general while knowing full well that this excites the anti-Semites and Islamic terrorists who use this issue to justify undertaking even more aggressive actions toward their own citizens.

How can this vicious circle be broken?

Today, I think we can find some noble inspiration not only from the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, but also from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because both of them have defended, as well as promoted the unequivocal truth of their positions before very aggressive audiences without being intimidated.

It’s the diplomacy of the truth, just the opposite of the traditional model. Haley has demonstrated from day one of her appointment the resolve of breaking the US’s silence as the useful idiot among a majority of aggressive and deceitful states at the UN exposing their real attitude: “You are not friend of democracy, you are not a friend of freedom”, she said while declaring that her country was “taking names”, namely taking a severe attitude even from a practical point of view to those who show disrespect and enmity to the United States and Israel.

Netanyahu has not only gone to great lengths, but has also demonstrated incredible courage in confronting countless attacks at the UN and over the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, ceaselessly denouncing the onslaught of Iranian lies and its decision to become a domineering world power through the acquisition of the atomic bomb and by sponsoring terrorism.

Many have remembered (like the WSJ editorial on December 22, 2017) former US Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s speech when he rebutted, with real disgust, in 1975, a resolution passed by the UN declaring Zionism a form of racism. Like Moynihan, Haley addressed the UN General Assembly by announcing that the US will not be an accomplice of a decision that undermines the credibility of the UN itself. She outlined simply and very straightforwardly the truth: the basis of her criticism was the organization’s “disproportionate focus on Israel” and then stated the consequence, “We have a legitimate expectation that our good will is recognized and respected. When a nation is singled out for attack in this organization, that nation is disrespected. What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the ‘privilege’ of being disrespected”.

I think that the option of speaking the truth is the only way in which to establish a new relation with Europe. The leaders that showed that they can easily vote for the worst lies about Israel (as it happened now but also many other times, for instance with when UNESCO passed a resolution, which stated that the Western Wall belongs solely to Islamic heritage) have very important names: Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and Paolo Gentiloni.

Here, Israel should – like Haley – “take names” by creating a sully elective European politics: it’s evident that for the next few years in several countries there’s nobody to openly and friendly speak with, while other countries are open to dialogue and admire Israel as a democratic and flourishing nation, able to defend itself albeit facing many pressing problems.

Israel must pick and choose, exploring not so much the moral attitude of those countries as much as their interests and their fear of the Islamic component:, and denouncing them, as when you look at the fact that Emmanuel Macron, the leader who called for “unity” from the European nations that abstained at the UN, spent the last weeks in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar where he signed contracts (amounting to 12 billion Euros, according to Meotti in Gatestone Institute).

All of the counties I quoted here are directly influenced in their attitude toward Israel by the presence of a growing, uncontrollable Muslim presence, whose hatred for Israel and the Jews is one of their main issues.

The EU has always feigned solidarity after any attack against the Jews or any extreme action against Israel by stating that they won’t tolerate anti-Semitism and are actively fighting it: Israel must be very clear on this point because it appears not to be true. There is no sign of response in so many occasions, or of just pure lip service. After many occasion when Germany saw.

Translation by Amy Rosenthal

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (December 27, 2017)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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