The European Union is a group of countries which seemingly have a collective hatred of Israel, and by extension, the Israelis — 75% of whom are Jewish. (What else do we expect from the continent that brought us the Holocaust?) Not every country in the EU is vehement about their distaste for our Jewish country, but their collective decisions, by consensus, are testament to it. I love Brexit because it weakens the EU and will probably lead to a further lessening of its power. Thankfully, Boris Johnson soundly defeated Jeremy Corbyn in the latest UK elections, enabling the UK to begin leaving the EU imminently.
The EU routinely singles out Israel for condemnation, lately specifying borderline-racist labels on Israeli goods. To wit, foodstuffs originating in the “territories occupied by the state of Israel” must bear the indication of their origin, including the designation, “Israeli settlement.” (What they really mean is “Jewish settlement.”)
Yaacov Berg, CEO of the Psagot Winery in Judea said, “… because we are Jewish owners of a winery in a beautiful and hotly contested land, we are being targeted and punished. And we are being punished precisely because we are Jews living in Judea where we have every right to be, as do the Palestinian Arabs and Druze and the Christians.”
My friend, Jerry Verlin, has done extensive research on the fact that Jewish history in Israel goes back four millennia. During all that time Hebrews, in larger or smaller numbers, have always been present in the Land of Israel. In fact, Jews are the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel.
Jerry decries the wholesale use of the term “settlers” by the mass media to label Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria. His salient point is that Western people, starting with Diaspora Jews who respect the legitimacy of Jewish presence in the land of Israel (even those who believe in slicing the land of Israel into two states), shouldn’t call Jews living to the west of the Jordan River border with Jordan “settlers,” while calling Arabs living there “villagers.” The media has firmly established “settlers” and “settlements” as dirty words, while “villagers” is a friendly term. In truth, “villagers” (or residents) describes all the inhabitants of the area, not just the media’s favorites, the Palestinian Arabs.
Perhaps the most egregious example of language referencing Jews and Arabs in Palestine was perpetrated by the Associated Press (AP) in 2014. The article describes a confrontation between small groups of what the UN’s partition resolution had called “the two Palestinian peoples” (Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs). The AP’s 1/8/14 piece used these terms in sequence:
“Palestinians … Israeli settlers … Palestinian farmers … West Bank village … settlers … settlers … settlers … [Palestinian Arab] people … people kicked and spit at the settlers … attacks by militant settlers on Palestinians … settlers were captured and held by Palestinians … a stone-throwing clash between settlers and Palestinian farmers … settlers … West Bank village … village council … settlers .. [Palestinian Arab] farmers … farmers … farmers … village … the settlers ran away and the villagers gave chase … village resident … settlers … village … villagers … settlers.” This is but one example of setting up the bad Jewish “settlers” against righteous Arab “villagers/farmers.”
(see Jerry Verlin – Brith Sholom Media Watch; firstname.lastname@example.org)
But surely the EU wouldn’t only single out Israel for onerous labeling requirements, which some have said puts a “yellow star” on Jewish goods and is tantamount to a boycott. Wrong. Cyprus, a member state of the EU, is truly divided by an invading power, Turkey. Despite the Turkish invasion, no labeling strictures are placed on Turkish goods produced in Cyprus.
Successive Turkish invasions (1974/77) resulted in the capture of approximately 37% of Cyprus. The ceasefire line from August 1974 became the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus and is commonly referred to as the Green Line (ironically similar to the 1947 Green Line in Israel). “Today Turkey still controls the north [part of Cyprus] and in doing so has strained relations with Cyprus, Greece and even the EU over its actions. Turkey maintains that the north is now a state of Turkey itself while the rest of the world still sees the north as part of the Republic of Cyprus as dictated in the 1960 independence from Great Britain.” (For a complete perspective, see <a href=”https://www.thefinertimes.com/War-in-The-Middle-East/the-turkish-invasion-of-cyprus.html)“>https://www.thefinertimes.com/War-in-The-Middle-East/the-turkish-invasion-of-cyprus.html)
On January 22 and 23, more than 40 world leaders arrived in Israel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and to speak out against the rise of antisemitism (I call it Jew-hatred). Many of the leaders were from EU countries. There was a lot of jaw-jaw, but what will come of it? Many attendees are the leaders who regularly meet with the Palestinian Authority “terrorists in suits,” who have no intention of ever living “side by side in peace” with Israel. In fact, several visited with Mahmoud Abbas during this visit, trivializing their fancy words about Never Again.
It will take some time, but the UK is beginning its irrevocable divorce from the EU. I don’t expect the EU to become more Israel-friendly, but if other European nations leave it, the EU will have less international clout than it currently enjoys. That would be a boon for Israel and pro-Zionists everywhere.