Archive for July, 2013
18th July 2013
At this time the European Union is getting ready to pass official guidelines for member states to follow, that are intended to significantly restrict Israeli institutions from taking part in various EU programs and being eligible for EU grants, prizes and financial instruments if they have interests and activities beyond the Green Line. This move indicates that for the EU the territorial dispute between Israel and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza has been conclusively judged in favor of Israel’s adversaries. Arabs from the region and the rest of the Arab world, have largely refused to accept Israel’s sovereignty anywhere in the region. Neither has there been a cessation in their efforts to weaken, truncate and eventually terminate the Jewish state’s existence – to paraphrase many Arab leaders up to the present day.
We present here a review based on an article by Boaz Bismuth, who is a regular columnist and desk editor at the Israeli daily “Israel Hayom” which is the country’s most widely read newspaper in Hebrew. From 2004 to 2008, Mr Bismuth served as Israel’s ambassador to Mauritania. He is also a regular contributor to radio and television programs, and a senior fellow at the Bar Ilan Center for International Communications. In this modified article, we present some of the questions that relate to European scruples in connection with Israel.
Europe wants new Berlin Wallin the middle of Jerusalem
Syria is disintegrating, Egypt is collapsing, Iran is on on the brink of becoming a nuclear power, but it seems that Israeli settlements are preventing Europeans from sleeping well at night.
It is somewhat perplexing to see former great empires conspiring together today like some beacon of morality. When they have no ability to influence, they choose the second option, which is to get in the way. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative was joined this week by Europe’s obstructive initiative.
The Europeans’ inferiority complex is what caused a small group of clerks in Brussels to formulate a complex legal document, which determines that future agreements with Israel will not apply beyond the 1967 lines.
The report was compiled in the European Commission’s Middle East department headed by Christian Berger, an Austrian diplomat who for the past few years was the EU envoy in the Palestinian territories. That is also, presumably, where he learned to be objective!
The report goes much farther than the 2012 declaration by EU foreign ministers upon which it is based. The EU ministers at the time took a very abstract position, which Berger is translating into practical, operative, and legal terms. It is no surprise that several European capitals yesterday could not understand what all the fuss in Jerusalem was about.
On Monday, the EU’s foreign ministers are expected to meet again. The Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Bulgaria and Romania are likely to question whether this was a smart move considering US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s current push in the region. In contrast, countries like Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria and Spain are expected to welcome the policy.
Christian Berger decided to solve “the occupation problem.” We can suggest to him that on Monday he also take a swing at solving Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus; Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara; the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan that is occupied by Armenia; Russia, which is occupying South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia; the Kurile Islands off Japan; as well as all of what was once East Prussia.
We also have not forgotten Russia’s military occupation in portions of the Finnish Karelia province. And China occupies Tibet while Indonesia occupies West Papua, and Pakistan and India are locked in an bitter clash over Kashmir.
And there are other interesting territorial disputes such as: the Falkland Islands, held by Britain and disputed by Argentina; British control of Gibraltar, which the Spanish regard as theirs; and also Morocco’s frustration at Spain, which controls two cities on Moroccan soil, Ceuta and Melia, as if Morocco was still part of Spain. And hasn’t the time come for the international community to relate seriously to the plight of the Kurdish people – over 30 million spread over adjacent territories in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, often treated with great brutality by their occupiers who refuse to countenance the idea of independence for this large nation.
Meanwhile, in a world teeming with rogues (witness the unbridled mayhem and butchery taking place throughout the much of the Arab and Muslim countries) it is Israel alone that repeatedly faces sanctions and worse. The EU’s intentions at the moment represent a new low in obtuseness, cynicism and hypocrisy.