Gary Willig

The Indefensible European Union

The European Union’s positions vis-à-vis Israel have never been easily justified. The ridiculous amount of funding for left-wing NGOs that push for a specific agenda. The blank checks to the Palestinian Authority that are used to pay the salaries of terrorists, to name public places after murderers, and to fund the worst anti-Semitic propaganda campaign since the Cold War, if not since World War 2. And the construction of illegal structures in Area C that violate the Oslo Accords and serve no humanitarian purpose other than to try to create facts on the ground that favor the Palestinians. All of these actions paint a disturbing picture of European intentions towards Israel.

But the applause given to Mahmoud Abbas in the European Parliament last week goes beyond the contempt for Israeli sovereignty that has become par for the course from the EU.

Golden boy and dictator for life Abbas, that moderate Holocaust denier, that peace-loving advocate of ethnic cleansing and religious Apartheid, chose to resurrect an old European blood libel in the heart of the European government, accusing a non-existent Israeli Rabbi of giving Israeli Jews the go-ahead to poison Palestinian wells.

The charge of the Jews poisoning wells goes back to the Middle Ages, and was used to justify attacks on helpless Jewish communities. It was thought that after having been proved false time and time again and with Europe recognizing the dangers of anti-Semitism such a libel against the Jews would have no place in polite European society today.

But European parliamentarians and politicians listened to this blood libel and applauded it.

The problem here is not Abbas, who in recent years has not even tried to hide his anti-Semitism. All pretense of his moderation evaporated as he condemned the presence of ‘filthy Jewish feet’ on the holiest site in Judaism.

The European Parliament can no longer claim to be turning a blind eye to Palestinian anti-Semitism in its refusal to condemn Abbas’ numerous extremist remarks and actions or in its inability to demand accountability for the funds it gives the PA. Not when it actively applauds the worst forms of anti-Semitism in its own halls. This amounts to an approval of and agreement with Palestinian anti-Semitism .

Is it any wonder anti-Semitic incidents are at a historic high in Europe today? How can the EU possibly fight against anti-Semitism at home when it applauds the same hatred in its halls and abroad?

About the Author
Gary Willig is a researcher at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a student of communications at Bar Ilan University