The EU’s commitment to Israel’s security 

Would you buy a carpet from him? This was the rhetorical question we used to ask in Istanbul by reference to someone who is, not to put a too fine point on it, a tricky or an unreliable person. In Canada, the corresponding question is: Would you buy a used car from him/ her?

On May 26 just past, Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union and Vice-President of the European Commission, called the newly minted Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi concerning the matter of the proposed plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the so-called West Bank as well as other matters.

A readout of the conversation issued by Borrell’s office quoted him reaffirming the EU’s wish “to continue working with the new Israeli government in a constructive and comprehensive way, in spirit of the longstanding friendship that binds the EU and Israel together…[Borrell] “underlined the EU’s unequivocal  commitment to the security of the State of Israel, which is not negotiable  for the EU, and re-affirmed the union’s intention to “address jointly issues of mutual interest and concern and to work with Israel to promote global peace and security and to contribute to building trust, in particular in the region and the immediate neighborhood.” (Italics mine)

Are these assertions and representations worth the price of the paper on which the readout is printed, or to put it differently would you buy a carpet, a used car, or for that matter anything else having to do with the security of Israel, or peacemaking from Borrell?

Further, would you do the same with EU states Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and France or for that matter from ex-member state Britain?

I submit that, based on Borrell’s past anti-Israeli  behaviour,  and  his calls  for penalising Israel for its decision to extend its sovereignty, after his purported friendly chat with Ashkenazi, the question must be answered in the negative.

I further submit that the question must be answered  likewise  for the ten plus 1.

Iran

No sooner said than done, when President Trump began to impose his sanctions on Iran for its many  dangerous aberrations, the E.U and more particularly the foregoing countries rejected the President’s position and course of action. With the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Maas in the lead who concocted a system that would enable them  to carry on  with their economic relations with Iran; a  relationship  which among others,  in the case of Germany, is annually worth 1,6 billion euros. For its part, France keenly put together a $500 million loan package  which Iran refused.

This  pussyfooting of Iran  started and  carries on while Iran  continues to

a) cheat on its undertakings with respect to the building of an atomic bomb;

b) develop further its sophistical arsenal ;

c)finance and provide modern weapons  to  Hezbollah, and

d) finance Hamas and two other terrorist groups of its own creation  and supplies all three of them with increasingly sophisticated weapons as well as the requisite local expertise to put together some of them.

Last but by no means least, in terms of the ultimate security of the State of Israel is concerned, Iran continues to proclaim periodically its firm intention to destroy her.

As a matter of fact, insofar as Iran  is concerned, the  EU and its member countries plus Britain have long dishonoured their undertaking under international law  as signatories of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide approved by the U.N. on December 1948 which came into force in 1954.

More specifically, Article 4 of the Convention reads:

The contracting parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and punish.

In the case of Iran, the key phrase is “to prevent”.

So far, the EU and its member countries have done absolutely nothing to perform their respective undertaking with respect to Iran.

It is ironic, and most regrettable at that  the EU and its member countries that keep accusing Israel  gratuitously for her alleged breaches of international law,  have  and continue to violate their undertaking under the Convention  from 1945 to date  for some 75 years and counting. This, while  genocidal Iran  has been regularly promising to destroy Israel; acquiring the weapons that would enable it to do that and towards this end  has reached  on a sensitive threshold to build a nuclear bomb.

Surely, in terms of relative importance and priority for peace and security  globally and regionally which preoccupies Borrell,  the matter and substance  of Israel’s extension of its sovereignty over a tiny territory, is hardly worth wasting time about, when the security of an entire region, nay, of the world is at risk.

Hezbollah

Contrary to the resolutions of the UNSC, the EU member states and more specifically those who sat at the UNSC at the material dates  have through their neglect  or indifference to Israel’s security problems created by Hezbollah,

a) allowed Hezbollah to grow in strength by becoming a terrorist army of 40,000+ members;

b) enabled it to  acquire a huge arsenal of missiles and more sophisticated weapons instead of forcing it to disarm;

c) did nothing to insure that UNIFIL, the U.N peace keeping force assigned to southern Lebanon, performed its mandate properly and effectively to prevent Hezbollah becoming a major threat to Israel’s security, or for that matter, and

d) failed provided the requisite assistance to Lebanon to succeed in performing the role assigned to it by the UNSCRs.

Hezbollah like Iran has and continues to state its intention to destroy Israel.In the premises, the foregoing submissions concerning Article 4 of the Convention apply equally to the case of Hezbollah.

To add insult to injury, with the exception of Britain which outlawed Hezbollah and Germany’s recent half- hearted and half- measure of outlawing Hezbollah; the EU  and the rest of the member states have yet to ban  it altogether.

The EU  also sat on its hands while Hezbollah  has been progressively destroying Lebanon, which some 60 years ago was a peaceful country  known for its lovely topography  and cultural sophistication and was often referred to as the Switzerland of the Middle-East.

The way the matters are  currently proceeding, push- come- to shove, Lebanon will turn into a terrorist state run  wholly by Hezbollah directly or through  its Lebanese proxies as it does currently on major issues of particular interest and/or benefit   to it.

France, in a sense, is the author of Lebanon created under  the   Mandate of 1920 issued  to France  by the San Remo Resolution of the League of Nations. At one time, the establishment of Lebanon,  the bastion of French culture in the Middle-East, was for France, a source of national pride for her achievement under the Mandate.

Yet, France does not seem to be bothered or bothered enough by the  progressively deteriorating state of affairs  in the country  over the last 40 years to  take some action to  help her recover  her internal and external security.

The Palestinian Authority

The EU has surpassed itself in its non –negotiable commitment to the security of Israel by, among other things, providing the P.A. an illegitimate ,corrupt, authoritarian and repressive outfit with the funds, among other nefarious purposes,

a)to finance and conduct its pay-for slay  terrorist activities;

b)to print Palestinian school books intended to train young Palestinians to become the next generation terrorists;

c) to Nazify its up and coming generations  by  encouraging them to idolise the Fuhrer, and  by analogy, the terrorists who kill Jews.

For a long time and right  up to the present, the E.U has been playing   “the three monkeys”  to ignore a fact that has been well established for an equally long time, namely; the P.A’s and PLO‘s  sole  and single-minded objective has  always been and continues to be not to make peace with Israel but to destroy it.

The EU also feigns to ignore the fact that, as Khaled Abu Toameh put it, Abbas made a precious gift to Iran i.e. Hamas

At all events, as the Parliament of Austria most recently pointed out, the EU and its leading member states have addressed, continue to address  the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a double standard to the  benefit of the P.A. and it must stop to do that forthwith.

Israel

What kind of non-negotiable commitment to the security of Israel would demand Israel to settle for its pre-1967 armistice line as its formal border when such a border  utterly fails to provide for the security of Israel?

What is one to make of such a commitment that

a) bars Israel from extending her sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria when this is, among other grounds, fully justified by Israel’s security needs, and

b) comes accompanied by the threat that in the event she does not heed this  prohibition, she would  be penalised, while some of the EU member states such as France would resort to strong penalties?

What kind of commitment  is that which, through the actions and omissions  of the E.U and member states have enabled Iran, Hezbollah, the P.A. Hamas and two more terrorist groups in Gaza, to circle  Israel,  all aiming for and working towards  her destruction?

And the list goes on and on ad nauseam ad infinitum

Indeed, the foregoing list is merely a sampling of EU’s and a great number of its member countries’ miscreant behaviour  towards Israel and its security.

Performing the security commitment

For sake of argument, assuming such a commitment exists, what is the likelihood  of the  EU succeeding  to deliver  on it ?

I submit that the EU  will utterly fail to do it as did France and England which caused World War II  by enabling Hitler to start it,by failing to take the necessary deterrent measures in a timely manner to preempt Hitler’s design.  Instead they chose to appease him for naught.

As a matter of fact, the EU and member countries have not even bothered to appease Iran, neutralise Hezbollah or indeed any and all other terrorist organisations and their affiliates.

Instead, they worked all out to subvert President Trump’s strategy to get Iran to cease pursuing her evil goals.

Why does the EU and for that matter its member states refuse to or are unable to learn the lessons of history, particularly since the lesson in question was barely 35 years old when the E.U and its member states  began to re-formulate their approach and policies concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after the War of 1976?

At all events, the proposition that the EU simply cannot deliver on its commitment can be illustrated with the following two examples.

Germany

Having regard to Chancellor Merkel’s  troubling pattern of behaviour in matters concerning Israel for over a year, there is significant doubt  as to whether her pledge  as to Germany’s obligation to insure the safety of Israel was a genuine commitment and  if so, whether it is still valid.

A high authority in the Germany army has publicly declared  that the army  is experiencing a substantial increase in the number of soldiers, (and I suggest that more than likely, of higher ups as well) who politically identify with the Germany’s extreme right wing party and related movements.

This is happening as the government itself and the country faces an increasingly bigger political threat from the same quarters.

France

France could not even win the war against  the terrorists in Mali and had to ask for help.

At all events, based on her behaviour against Israel since General de Gaulle ascended to the presidency, the country is not in the  mood to risk its own security and safety or to shed blood for Jews, let alone for the Israeli ones.

The group of 10

The  armies of these countries are nothing to write home about . Furthermore, exhibiting a considerable degree of antisemitism and demanding the imposition of  strong penalties on Israel  upon  the implementation of the extension of her sovereignty, I very much doubt that  these countries would even think  letting  its army to fight for the security of Israel.

Europe as a whole

At all events, I very much doubt that the European countries whose populations include a large Muslim minority whose mosques and  parochial schools are financed from abroad  and have failed to ban groups like Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood or other radical organisations of similar inspiration, would be willing to meet the commitment alleged by Borell,  for fear of creating  domestic  unrest and turmoil resulting in widespread violence in their own backyard.

The possible exceptions

My hunch is that  the very countries that have been consistently defeating various attempts to pass  EU resolutions binding on all member countries which are hostile or damaging  to Israel namely;  the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, which constitute the Visegrád  group within the EU, and possibly  even Austria, may decide  on principle to offer  Israel  some assistance, in her fight for security and if the offer is accepted to act upon it with alacrity .

Concluding question

To the readers: How about you? Would you buy a carpet or a used  car from Borrell or from the leaders of E.U’s member countries, who, from time to time, may profess the same line as Borrell?

About the Author
Doğan Akman was born and schooled in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon his graduation from Lycee St. Michel, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published some articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice working first as a Crown prosecutor, and then switching to civil litigation and specialising in aboriginal law. Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled This is My New Homeland and published in Istanbul.
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