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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 .
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?