Romeu Monteiro

New face, same EU politics

Federica Mogherini, the new representative of the European Union for foreign affairs, has already done her first trip in her new role. She chose to go to the epicenter of the problems of the Middle East. Did she go to Iraq, Syria or Iran? No. Mogherini, with her bag filled with European prescriptions for “peace”, went to Israel.

Europe insists stubbornly in the old culprits and in the old solution: if someone has a problem with Jews, let us move the Jews. After all, such ideas did not produce catastrophic results before, and it would be unthinkable to even entertain the idea that hatred against Jews is most likely, as usual, symptom of a much deeper pathology.

The new trend in European capitals nowadays is the Jerusalem Ghetto (forget Warsaw, that’s so 1940!): the dream of expelling hundreds of thousands of Jews from the northern, southern and eastern parts of Jerusalem and throwing them somewhere in the western sector. Then, the following step would be to expel all Jews living in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It should not be too hard, the Brits “evacuated” the Jews of Hebron that managed to survive the 1929 massacre, we can count on their experience in responding to anti-Semitism by ethnically cleansing the victims. This way, the EU would restore the 1948 status quo, when Arab armies invaded Israel and did not leave a single living Jew in Judea and Samaria or Gaza, not even in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. Once the ethnic cleansing has been completed according to European prescriptions, everyone will live happily ever after, Arabs will get along with everyone from Jews to homosexuals and, with some luck, even with other Arabs.

For the European Union to proclaim a solution for peace that involves the expulsion of all the Jews from the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and from several other cities in their ancestral homeland is already dystopian, but to actually expect the Jews to collaborate is just insane.

The European anti-Semitic hysteria was particularly clear when in October the Jerusalem City Hall approved the expansion of a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, resulting in many protests that contrasted with the silence after the same city hall ordered the expansion of an Arab neighborhood a short time before. For the EU, all the residents of Jerusalem are equal except Jews, who should limit themselves to be equal just in the places defined by European bureaucrats.

Israel knows the worth of Europe’s concerns and assurances. In 2005, while Israel removed all the Jewish inhabitants of the Gaza strip, the EU proclaimed their compromise with Israel’s security and with Gaza’s prosperity. Without the smelly Jews, Gaza would soon blossom into a Singapore of the Mediterranean, or so the EU tried having us believe.

Since that time and until 2014, Israeli cities have been attacked with more than 12.000 missiles fired from Gaza. The strip is now in the hands of Hamas terrorists, suffering a complete Egyptian blockade with a buffer zone being created along the border between Gaza and Egypt.

The EU, so as to demonstrate how reliable its own promises are, does nothing more than throw threats and admonishments at Israel for defending its population against Palestinian rocket fire. For the EU, it is disproportionate for Israel to attack the missile-firing Islamists next door because they do not kill that many Israelis. But of course, dropping European bombs on Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans is completely proportional. After all, everyone knows how hard they make it for Europeans to drink their tea and eat their croissants in peace.

Mogherini said she would be going to Jerusalem and Ramallah with the wish of seeing a Palestinian state established during her mandate. As such, she met with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. On the Israeli side Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of a large coalition government resulting from elections in 2013. On the other side, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority on the 9th year of his 4-year mandate. Abbas, other than being a longevity champion of Palestinian “democracy”, is also an enthusiast of interacting with his subjects. Journalists and other Palestinians arrested and tortured for having made the wrong compliments in their articles of Facebook posts can attest that he cares about what people say. But this is surely nothing that will dissuade Mogherini or the EU from promoting and empowering Abbas as political leader and peace partner, for there is nothing wrong in negotiating the safety and the financing of the Palestinians with dictators who persecute them.

European intervention is a must, after all the EU’s investment in the Palestinians is pretty large: Palestinians are the largest per capita receivers of EU aid. Obviously, the flows of billions of euros from Brussels to the Palestinian Authority, or more correctly, to Swiss banks via Ramallah, have no connection at all with the perpetuation of the conflict. The additional billions from the UN agency dedicated exclusively to the Palestinian refugees – all other refugees have to make do with the other agency – also have nothing to do. The 4 billion euros promised by countries from all over the world, especially from the Arab oil world, to “rebuild Gaza”, with assured passage through the bank accounts of Hamas’ leaders and their web of associates, are for sure also completely insignificant for the Palestinians’ war options. Some people might even conclude that Palestinians are paid to keep attacking Israel, but that is certainly an outrageous unfounded idea.

What Mogherini knows for sure is that there are some investments that are a must, for if in the blink of an eye the Palestinians generate of movement of 4 billion euros into Gaza, many more are the billions of petrodollars that can enter or leave Europe according to the mood of the oil sheikhs.

European diplomacy is either idealist and ignorant, or pragmatic, sold out and dishonest. In any case the result is terrible: both situations destroy the EU’s ambition of being a major political player in the world, something which should help protect and serve the European people.

Mrs. Mogherini, as an EU citizen, I ask you to consider this request: learn from your trip to Israel, that oasis of sanity, and fight for an Europe filled with moral clarity and the courage to remain true to its own values. As Europeans, we cannot handle a deranged Europe for much longer.

About the Author
Romeu Monteiro is a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University and president of the student group Israel On Campus. Originally from Portugal, he is also an LGBT and pro-Israel activist.