Javier Solana: It’s either our way or else!
Hypocrites! The EU demands far more from Israel, than what they would be willing to demand from themselves. How about that new Basque state, or allowing for the creation of a Flemish state from the fake construct called Belgium? The former would of course involve the EU to rescind its ban on the Vlaams Belang, and allow it to actively particpate in a coalition government, something the EU elite is loathe to do. But the EU’ers see no problem in demanding Israel to play harri-carri with a Palestinian state in its under belly, that would be by default, at war with the Jewish state the day it came into being. Suicide politics. Israel knows all too well that when push comes to shove, the EU won’t hesitate to throw the Jewish state under the bus.
Diplomacy: Friends like these
Sounding oh-so-very old Europe, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana issued the following warning to Israel this week: “Let me say very clearly that the way the European Union will relate to a government that is not committed to a two-state solution will be very, very different.”
Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Monday, Solana said the EU may reconsider its links, if the incoming government of Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu was not committed to establishing a Palestinian state. The bloc “will be ready to do business as usual, normally, with a government in Israel that will continue talking for a two-state solution,” said Solana. “If that’s not the case, the situation will be different.”
Not to be outdone, Portugal on Tuesday urged the EU to review ties with Israel if it didn’t prove its commitment to the “peace process.”
“During 2008 we did not witness relevant progress on critical issues like settlements or movement and access,” Foreign Minister Luis Amado wrote to his 26 EU colleagues and Solana. “On settlements, for example, we have seen precisely the opposite. This situation can not last longer, as we risk losing the moderate Arab camp. Today, we hope to see a halt of the settlement expansion and a clear commitment to the peace process, or we will need to reassess this question. This needs to be clearly said to our Israeli friends.”
This type of talk seem a throwback to a different time, about a decade ago, when Israeli-EU ties were often acrimonious and marred by threats. But things began to change in the early part of this decade, as Europe realized that if it wanted to be a player in the region, it would have to jettison what was largely perceived here as a lack of Middle East balance. Israel also realized that it was in its interest not to dismiss Europe out of hand as inherently hostile, but to realize that the EU did have legitimate interests in the region, and could play a productive role – witness EU BAM at Rafah, and the multinational force in southern Lebanon.
With this came a degree of maturity in the relationship, and recognition by both sides that there would be policy disagreements, but that the flourishing political, economic and scientific ties could continue despite them.
THIS WEEK, however, Solana and Amado’s comments were perceived by some in Jerusalem as an indication that the whip was again about to be unsheathed.
Except for one thing: Solana and Amado seemed to be operating from a decade-old default setting, when the EU was an exclusive club of 15 Western European countries, some of them – Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Belgium and France under Jacques Chirac – with which Israel had, to put in mildly, rocky diplomatic relations.
But now the EU is different, much different. It is an EU of 27 countries, 10 from Central and Eastern Europe which have a vastly different historical perspective from the countries of Western Europe. And these countries, according to diplomatic sources, are unlikely to automatically stand up and salute when some inside the EU suggest that it may be time to turn the screws on Israel.
The need to stand tough and dare to tell the world how exactly the situation stands with the Palestinians at this juncture in time, couldn’t be any more important for Israel. The West is demanding far much more from Israel, than they would ever dare to do from themselves or the Arab/Muslim world. For proof, just look at the tone in which Solana tells Israel what’s what, and the way B.Hussein Obama grovels before the Mullahs in Tehran. Israel’s does have friends in the West, and you can tell exactly who those friends are, in the way they understand both Israel’s challenges, and how they expect Israel to meet them. Demanding Israel not KGS