by Manfred Gerstenfeld
European Union flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels. Photo: Amio Cajander via Wikimedia Commons.
Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan has yet to be published, but that hasn’t stopped 37 former Europeans politicians and officials from publishing a joint letter against it. The signatories write: “Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding U.S. policy and distanced itself from established international legal norms. It has so far recognized only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion.” The letter says that “despite uncertainty as to if and when the plan will be released, it is crucial for Europe to be vigilant and act strategically.”
A quick look at the signatories identifies a number of well-known anti-Israeli inciters among them. A few examples: Former Finnish socialist foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja compared Israeli politics with those of the Nazis. Former Danish foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft reportedly said on television when Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi was murdered that “there was no difference between that assassination and Israel’s targeted killing of terrorists.” Another signatory is former Danish foreign minister Martin Lidegaard, who threatened Israel with sanctions from the European Union in 2014 if the indirect talks between Hamas and Israel did not yield significant Israeli concessions.
The only German signatory is former foreign minister and ex-leader of the socialist party, Sigmar Gabriel. He accused Israel of being an apartheid state, and apologized for this statement only many months later. And many of the other European officials who signed the letter have a strong history of anti-Israel bias.
The signatories almost all hail from countries that have supported or adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism, which says that manifestations of antisemitism might include “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.” The definition says that applying double standards by requiring of Israel behaviors not demanded of any other democratic nation is an antisemitic act.
Such double standards and manifestations of antisemitism occur every year at the UN General Assembly, which singles out Israel for attack more than any other nation on earth (when many of those other nations are guilty of true war crimes and human rights violations). In recent years, there has not even been one resolution against Hamas. Many of the signatories of the letter were ministers in their countries. Quite a few of them were responsible for their country’s antisemitic voting records at the United Nations.
Almost all of the signatories come from countries where antisemitism has greatly increased in the last five years. This can be seen from the findings of a study published by the European Commission in January 2019.
One wonders what the signatories of the letter have done to combat the rising antisemitism in their countries. If anything at all, their efforts have not been successful. Instead, they continue their obsession of hating Israel, and championing the Palestinian Authority, which rewards the murderers of Israelis with financial payments. There is little reason to believe that if the Palestinians get a state, as the signatories want, the terrorist murders of Israelis will stop.
For many centuries, antisemitism has been deeply interwoven with European culture. The letter of the 37 European hypocrites reflects that culture.
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