What is Palestinianism? According to journalist Ben Cohen, anti-Semitism has become less a political phenomenon, and more a social movement, with what he calls “Palestinianism” as its key ideology: “Palestinian Arabs have assumed the status of iconic, transcendental victims, as the Jews did for a brief period after World War II, and as Israel did until 1967. The new anti-Semitism brings together leftists, neo-fascists, Islamists and liberals. Its aim is to persuade the mass of Europeans to shun Israel reflexively.” (

Palestinianism has become the new religion of many Europeans, the latest version of anti-Semitism. For Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, “It’s now almost automatic for liberals and socialists to see Israel as a colonial power imposed on a comparatively helpless people. And dislike of Israel easily turns into dislike of diaspora Jews who support Israel.” (

Europe has become the willing ally of 57 Muslim countries in bashing Israel. The latest proof of this is the current stampede in Europe to recognize Palestine as the nation state of the “Palestinians,” declaring that if a treaty is not signed within two years, official recognition of the State of Palestine will ensue. “Governments and parliaments are taking action. That momentum will grow,” said United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon in November.

Should we be surprised? No, because what else can we expect from the continent that brought the Jews pogroms, expulsions, the Inquisition, pogroms again, and ultimately, the Holocaust. True, there was a brief hiatus in the aftermath of WWII, but that soon abated. Now Europe seems to be intent on recognizing a (Muslim) State of Palestine while denying Israel its essence as the nation state of the Jews.

France, the European country with the largest Muslim population (estimates range from 7-13%), has an increasing opposition to the growth of Muslim influence. Marine Le Pen is the president of the far-right Front National, the third-largest political party in France, whose voters, “…say ‘no’ to a world that seems hard, globalised, implacable. These are working-class people, pensioners, office workers who say, ‘We don’t want this capitalism and competition in a world where Europe is losing its leadership.’ ” (

Guy Bechor, an Israeli journalist and Ph.D says, “While in the past we talked about the Westernization of the Arab world, we are now talking about the Arabization of Europe. The Arab League boycotted Israel from its very first day [of independence], and the ‘European Union’ may now follow in its footsteps. .., The first European city which will have a Muslim majority by the end of the decade is Marseilles, the second largest city in France, where Muslims already make up 30% to 40% of the population.” [Others: Barcelona, Brussels, Malmo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam: all 25-30%]

While Muslim immigrants have been flocking to Europe for two generations, a critical mass may not yet have been reached. Bechor had this to say to Melanie Phillips in a Voice of Israel interview:

Israel’s fate is no longer determined by Europe. There is an atmosphere of change towards Israel because of the Muslim question, which is now an internal question for the EU. Bechor doesn’t see the possibility of sanctions from the EU at this time, despite what we hear in the media. Israel cannot be isolated so easily, even psychologically. Can you imagine a Palestinian state – a Hamas state – right next to Israel’s center? Can you imagine i.e. London dividing its capital? It’s not acceptable to a real person, it’s just psychological.

Bechor said, eventually we will see a new, realistic Europe, because for the first time, the Middle East is coming to Europe, not the other way around. Now the Europeans are tasting the “flavors” of the Middle East, which are not so tasty. Sacrificing Israel is not the solution for the Europeans. The Islamic problem is now their problem, more than Israel’s.

He continued, Europeans see the rampant terrorism in the Middle East and the growing influence of Muslims in Europe. The rise of right wing political parties is the result. For example, Norway was one of Israel’s worst adversaries just two years ago; now they are one of our best friends there, because of their recently elected Conservative government.

Bechor averred that the Palestinian leaders know that a Palestinian state will be the end of the Palestinian nationality, almost immediately, as Hamas did in Gaza in 2007. Islamic State followers are already in the Palestinian Authority, waiting to declare themselves at the right time.

Responding to Phillips question: Why is Mahmoud Abbas pressing for a Palestinian state, unless Abbas clearly thinks he gains politically and diplomatically by it, Bechor replied: There are some European states that want “Palestine” more than Abbas does. Look at his conditions, which are totally unacceptable to Israel, the U.S. and even some European states. The Palestinian leaders talk about a state, but they don’t really mean it, just as Jordan’s king says what he needs to say to survive. King Abdullah definitely doesn’t want a Palestinian state. They, the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders, are lying.

Europe should be more pessimistic than Israel. Demographically, they are living in an illusion. The Europeans would like their problem to be our problem too. But we Israelis are much more realistic than they are. (

Of course, Dr. Bechor is correct. Israel has always had a large Muslim minority (20-25%), but it has never been overtaken by it. The Europeans are befuddled and don’t know how to deal with the growing Muslim population, which is dominant in the primary schools. While Israelis procreate at about the same rate as the Israeli Muslims (3 children per family on average), white Europeans lag far behind non-Caucasian immigrants. They really do have a problem, which the new right wing will try to fix.

We have seen this movie before. We can’t be optimistic about how Europe will turn out, because some Europeans are willing to give in to the new wave while others are ready to take up arms against it. Palestinianism may be short-lived and confined to Europe. Regardless, Israel is turning more and more to the East and to sub-Saharan Africa, from where the majority of the world’s growth is coming. It’s possible that the Palestinian cause will be totally overshadowed by the Muslim conflagration in the region and Europe’s preoccupation with its own problems. In any event, nothing will be solved by the Palestinians achieving an independent state by European decree.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.