Ilya Meyer

Peace in our time? Give me a break…

In a world in constant flux, it’s reassuring to know that there is at least some stability, that some things are constant and never, ever, change.

Israel agreed to a ceasefire that was brokered by Egypt, and has kept its promise.

Hamas has continued firing rockets at Israeli civilian population centres.

Business as usual for both sides, in other words.

The Jewish state continues to demonstrate goodwill, humanity, concern for civilian lives. As usual.

The Palestinian Arab fanatics with whom Israel is supposed to negotiate respond with serial human rights abuses against both their own population and that of Israel. As usual.

There is as yet no world condemnation of Hamas. There is as yet no media commentary on the fact that the truce is being smashed hour by hour, minute by minute, rocket by rocket, by one side and one side alone – Hamas, the Palestinian Arab party that is in a unity government together with Fatah. And Fatah is not imposing its will on its government partner.

The condemnation, the media commentary, will only start if Israel responds to violation of the ceasefire. The ceasefire to which the Jewish state scrupulously adhered, and which the Hamas government never obeyed.

Business as usual, in other words.

In the Netherlands, however, it’s NOT business as usual. The Dutch government’s Second Chamber recently adopted a motion to stop the transfer of funds that the Palestinian Authority passes on to terrorists in Israeli prisons. The Dutch reasoning is exquisitely lucid in its simplicity: this funding is nothing other than government approval for the mass-murder of Jews in Israel, it is a lifetime pension paid to PA-ratified murderers on a sliding scale that varies with the number of Jewish civilians each Palestinian Arab terrorist “succeeds” in killing. 

The Dutch move represents a brave departure from the EU’s normal “business as usual” approach, and it is to be hoped that this initiative will be echoed throughout the EU. The EU, after all, prides itself on acting in consensus on all matters of foreign policy. And Sweden, in particular, has elevated concensus to a state religion.

So here’s hoping Sweden will be the second EU member state to follow suit. It is election year in Sweden, and one thing is for certain: the current Swedish government’s actions and statements on Hamas’s ongoing conflict with Israel are going to go a long way in determining the make-up of the next government in this Nordic country at end September.

Prime Minister Reinfeld, take notice. (We can leave Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and his legendary animosity to Israel out of the picture – there’s no point in being unrealistic here.)



About the Author
Served as deputy chair of the West Sweden branch of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association. Written three political thrillers about Sweden-Israel-Gaza in The Hart Trilogy: "Bridges Going Nowhere" (2014), "The Threat Beneath" (2015) and "From the Shadows" (2016), where the action switches seamlessly between Samaria, Gaza, Israel, Sweden and Iran. Work has started on a fourth book, "Picture Imperfect".