Barry Shaw made aliyah from Manchester, England with his family. He spent eleven years on various kibbutzim, ending up at Mishmar HaSharon, the same kibbutz that served as home to Ehud Barak. After leaving the kibbutz for Netanya, Barry Shaw set up a busy real estate office in Netanya. A former believer in the Oslo process.
Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:28 am European diplomacy in the service of our enemy - Barry Shaw
European diplomacy in the service of our enemy
By Barry Shaw
The Jerusalem Post
January 10, 2013
Original Thinking: It is prudent to quote Winston Churchill, who castigated the British political leadership with the words, “You had the choice of choosing war or dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you got war.”
What has Israel experienced from Europe recently as it was assaulted by Palestinian terror and diplomacy? How do we define the attitude, words and deeds of European Union ministers and diplomats? What they have done and said can only be interpreted as closed-mind diplomacy in the service of our enemy.
Look how events unfolded. Although most condemned the Hamas missile attacks against Israel, they failed to follow their condemnation with any punitive measures against a Palestinian terror regime that is guilty of multiple international crimes ranging from terrorism, war crimes, crimes against humanity, incitement to murder and anti-Semitism, to name but a few. In other words, apart from a verbal wrist-slapping, EU ministers let them off the hook, saving their real venom for what was to come.
Just days after showing the world the face of terror, Palestinians had the gall to go to the United Nations to apply for and receive the ill-deserved award of non-member state status. This move was a breach of signed agreement with Israel that they would refrain from such unilateral steps. It should have been roundly rejected by the parties that acted as witnesses to the signing of the Oslo Interim Agreement on the White House lawn in 2003. This contract was to be the cornerstone of the road map instigated and executed by the Quartet made up of the US, Russia, United Nations and European Union.
Article 31 stated, “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”
Staggeringly, only one European state, Czechoslovakia, did the honorable and correct thing by voting at the UN against the Palestinian breach of contract. The Czech vote against the motion may have been a minority action but it was the right and moral stance to take. It should remind their European colleagues of the meaning of standing by signed international commitments.
But the Czechs were alone. The rest of Europe abandoned their responsibilities as witnesses and founders of the road map by marching to the aid of our enemy, an enemy that had just bombed us with more than a thousand rockets and called for our destruction, and listened to our enemies’ leaders deny our right to exist as the Jewish nation from the podium of the UN, and from Gaza and Ramallah.
Despite all of this, the Europeans encamped on the side of our enemy and voted in their favor, without any condemnation of Palestinian terrorism or the hate speech heard at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly. Mahmoud Abbas’s speech was inflammatory incitement, yet it won the support of the EU foreign ministers.
They brought Hamas, an Islamic terror organization that had just fired 1,300 rockets into Israel, one step closer to statehood. This is insanity, yet EU diplomats voted for them by their support of the Palestinian statehood bid.
This is madness, yet they look on it as one step to peace. Are they crazy, or are they on the side of Israel’s enemy? The next stage was the rampant victory celebrations in Gaza and Ramallah.
More speeches were made calling for a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea,” in other words, in place of Israel. It was to be achieved, they said, by diplomacy or by terror and war. To emphasize this point the backdrop of their event in Gaza was the placement, center-stage, of a huge replica of a rocket to be employed to achieve their goal.
Where was the voice of the EU diplomats? Total silence! It was only when Israel announced a review of planning for 3,000 homes in Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim that the venom of the EU come to the surface.
Homes, it seems, are the real obstacle to peace for EU foreign ministers.
Not rockets, not terror, not declarations of intent to destroy Israel, not denial of Israel’s rights to exist as the Jewish state and to develop its infrastructure. Only Israeli homes warrant the threat of EU sanctions. No such sanctions have ever been applied or threatened against the Palestinians, no matter what evil they have wrought. EU foreign ministers are clearly on the side of our enemy.
Where have they ever considered the territories of Judea and Samaria, known to them as the West Bank, for what they really in legal terms – disputed? It is evident, in Israeli terms, that the land is rightfully, historically, and legally, a part of Israel. It was never “Palestinian.” If it was “occupied” at all, it was occupied by the Jordanians who had launched an aggressive war, alongside other Arab regimes, against Israel in 1948, before it was recaptured by Israel in yet another genocidal war waged against the Jewish state by the Arabs, including Jordan, in 1967.
Despite this, Israel has made huge land concessions to the Palestinians and retains only what is called Area C with barely 3 percent of the Palestinian Arabs, and sizable Israeli townships that, according to accepted logic, will remain part of sovereign Israel after any permanent peace agreement.
So what is the fuss of European contention all about? It is about a stubborn policy that complies with the Palestinian phased plan that leads, irrevocably, not to peace but to the unraveling and destruction of Israel.
What is the core problem with these EU diplomats? They surely are not bent on the destruction of Israel, just as Neville Chamberlain was not hell-bent on the destruction of Czechoslovakia when he signed a “Peace in our time” agreement with Hitler that deprived the Czechs of Sudetenland before the Nazi jackboots marched into Prague. But that could be the result here in the Middle East if EU diplomats do not face reality in 2013 and stop appeasing a determined enemy.
Could it be that they lack the depth of intelligence that prevents them from reaching a proper solution? Are they trapped in a narrow mind-frame that leaves them unable to think out of the box, preferring to cling to a utopian policy that has long demonstrated its illusions? They are not able to extract themselves from the insurmountable obstacle blocking their route, nor are they capable of navigating an alternative path to their desired destination.
That obstacle is an artificial Palestinian schizophrenic entity being fed with EU funding that retains the notion that it will eventually destroy its peace partner, Israel, that is, if the two sides of this schizophrenic body do not destroy each other first.
The EU ministers have set the rules of the game so that the aggressor, the terrorist entity, must inevitably win. They have closed their eyes to the fact that peace is not possible until terrorism is defeated.
They deny Israel the ability to fight for its survival until victory is won and we can prepare for a better world. It is clear that, as in an earlier period, they have misjudged the political landscape.
As Tommy Steiner, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, told The Jerusalem Post last month, “As an Israeli who actually believes in the European project... one can only hope that EU officialdom would acquire a more realistic, in-depth, and broad understanding of the Middle East and the principle forces shaping the region.”
Regretfully, the falsehood of the EU diplomatic language is a deterrent against a Middle East peace as it applies to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
It is prudent to quote Winston Churchill, who castigated the British political leadership with the words, “You had the choice of choosing war or dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you got war.”
It seems to me that we are heading rapidly toward the same fork in the road and the diplomatic world is following the same dangerous policy of appeasing the wrong side.
They are blindly pursuing their road map to Israel’s destruction.
Diplomacy is in the service of our enemy.
Barry Shaw is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. He is the special consultant on delegitimization issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at the Netanya Academic College.