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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why Israel doesn't trust the Europeans

Although Hillary Clinton's speech on Friday was overwhelmingly anti-Israel, Israel continues to trust the United States and to be wary of the Europeans. Herb Keinon explains why.
But so be it. This was a speech by Clinton, the US secretary of state, not the head of AIPAC – it’s not all going to be completely to Israel’s liking.

But still, there was an understanding in that speech of Israel’s concerns, of where it is coming from. There was an appreciation of Israel’s rather difficult security situation, mention of Iran, Hamas, Hizbullah. There was talk of a need for secure borders.

Although this was not a speech that in any way could be read as an adoption of Israel’s narrative, it was also definitely not an espousal of the Palestinian one. It was the secretary of state of a country interested in giving off the appearance of a fair and honest broker.

The same cannot be said of the letter signed last week by 26 EU elders, some of whom – such as former EU commissioner Chris Patten, former EU commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, former foreign policy chief Javier Solana and former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi – who have up until very recently held extremely prominent positions in the EU and influenced its polices on the Middle East.

In the seven-page letter sent to Catherine Ashton, the current foreign policy chief of the EU, in advance of a meeting of EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, they urge – among other steps – sanctions against Israel on settlements, and setting a deadline for diplomatic progress that, if not met, would mean that the entire problem would be sent to the international community for it to come up with a solution.

They also predetermine the result of negotiations, saying that the EU should declare that a future state should be on territory “equivalent to 100 percent of the territory occupied in 1967, including its capital in east Jerusalem.”

Don’t bother looking for the word “Hamas” in this letter, or “Hizbullah,” or “Iran,” because those words don’t appear. Also don’t waste time looking for any reference to Palestinian terrorism or Israel’s security needs. You’ll come up empty.

Read this letter and, essentially, you see that 26 influential EU voices – though now out of office – have essentially said the Palestinians are right, the Israelis are wrong, let’s all admit that, impose a solution, and move on.

The current EU leadership has not signed onto this letter, and is unlikely to do so when the block’s foreign ministers meet Monday.

But the voices of the 26 are anything but voices in the wilderness, and their calls are what makes Jerusalem so skeptical of the EU, and – by comparison – so pleased with Clinton, even if her comments were also not a ringing endorsement of Israel’s policies.

What Clinton’s speech did do, however, was at least take into account Israel’s argument, something completely absent in the recommendations made by the former EU leaders.
Until the Europeans can at least give the appearance of fairness, they will have no role to play here. And they don't deserve one.

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At 9:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yup... and Hillary Clinton and the Administration she represents won't be around in office forever. Israel has already gotten through two very difficult years. The Jewish State can survive the balance of Obama's term. Neither the US nor the Europeans will be able to bend Israel to their liking.

Now its time to move on.


At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As new revelations continue to emerge [Elder of Ziyon] re: the German subsidized Nazi-Mufti of Jerusalem-Arab-Nazi axis (that continued to assist Arabs after WWII), European pandering to the PLO's Mufti worship, anti-Israel incitement, and plans for demographically submerging a rump Israeli state (all under the guise of a "peace process") do simplify things. Why strain to accommodate this generation's Vichys and Quslings? And why bend ourselves out of shape to deal with this generation's Haj Amin al-Husseinis?


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