Israel Israel Self Reliance Manfred Gerstenfeld



Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article on why Israel should monitor the Ukrainian developments closely,was published today in the Jerusalem Post without the footnotes I am republishing here, and with the author’s consent.

The E. U. and member states have made several huge mistakes in the past. One was allowing non-selective mass immigration from Muslim countries with radically different cultures. Segments of these immigrants were extreme racists, anti-Semites, anti-democrats and/or proselytizers.

Why Israel Should Monitor the Ukraine Conflict Closely

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr.Manfred GerstenfeldThe Russian-Ukranian conflict and resulting Russian-Western tensions may widen further for a long time to come. If so, this is likely to lead to substantial geopolitical changes. It is far too early to predict their impact on Israel. Yet several important issues — besides what happens to Ukraine’s Jews — already require detailed monitoring by Israel.

The first one concerns Western guarantees. In the 1994 Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom guaranteed the Ukraine’s borders.1 These guarantees were worthless when Russia annexed Crimea. They are likely to be tested further when several other Ukrainian territories with a majority of Russian speakers declare independence, or will want to join Russia.

Western guarantees for Israel have frequently been mentioned as a feasible component of a future peace treaty with the Palestinians. The failure of such guarantees concerning Crimea should be an additional major lesson for those Israelis who have still not understood that after a peace agreement – which is unlikely at present – Israel must be able to rely on itself.

The second issue to monitor is developments concerning international law. The West has accused Russia of breaking international law by annexing Crimea. This implies that the U.S. and the European Union respect international law. The argument was greatly weakened by former German Socialist Chancellor and Putin friend Gerhard Schroeder. He stated that he himself was one of many Western leaders who broke international law concerning Kosovo. Schroeder compared the referendum put on by the government of Crimea, to Kosovo’s independence declaration from Serbia.2 Schroeder also considers the E.U. association policy as the root cause of the Ukraine conflict.3 German Socialist Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, did not go as far, but pointed out that the European Union had made substantial mistakes in the conflict.4

The European Union has consistently claimed that Israel’s settlement policy in the territories – which historically were not part of any sovereign state — is against international law. This argument has been contested by many prominent legal scholars.5 Schroeder’s statements undermine the E.U. position even further. If the E.U. behaved much worse than what it falsely condemns Israel for, that argument should be used by Israel in response to the E.U.’s ongoing verbal aggression directed at it.

The third issue to monitor concerns claims that Russia is NATO’s “adversary.” This expression was used by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.6 Hillary Clinton compared Putin’s tactics to those of Hitler. After receiving criticism, she partly retracted it.7

However in the Ukrainian conflict so far, not a single citizen of a NATO country has been killed or wounded by either Russians or pro-Russian separatists. Palestinians for example, have killed and wounded a number of such citizens. It would be surprising if Mohammed Abbas in his habitual glorification of Palestinian murderers of civilians, did not include some terrorists who killed Westerners. The Palestinian Authority also supports the families of terrorists in Israeli jails. The West though finances the Palestinian Authority. Hamas resembles Hitler far more than Putin does, as demonstrated in its charter, statements by senior officials, and tactics. Clinton has never commented on this however.

International tensions concerning the Ukraine started with a popular uprising against President Victor Yanukovych by a mix of democrats and neo-fascists in unknown proportions. There are Westerners who suggest that this conflict echoes the Cold War.8 This is another potential source of trouble that Israel should be monitoring closely.

A generation has already grown up which does not remember that the Cold War was a power struggle between two opposing global ideologies – communism and democracy. This battle was also behind many wars and conflicts, sometimes fought entirely or in part by proxies. A few examples among many are the Greek civil war, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War.

Putin is a Russian nationalist. It would be absurd to claim that he aims for a global ideological conquest. The Soviet Union had potential fifth columns among Western communists. Westerners who currently oppose European policies or even support Putin’s political positions, do so for many reasons, but not because they share any ideological affinity with him.

Comparing the Ukrainian conflict to the Cold War is dangerous. Turning this controversy into an ideological one would have extremely perilous consequences. It distracts from the one genuine global ideology confronting democracy: large segments of Islam, which strive to impose their religion on the entire world through jihadist terror or proselytizing.

The E. U. and member states have made several huge mistakes in the past. One was allowing non-selective mass immigration from Muslim countries with radically different cultures. Segments of these immigrants were extreme racists, anti-Semites, anti-democrats and/or proselytizers.

A second major misstep was the poorly executed creation of the Euro. Its resulting crisis came close to endangering the global economy. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the reduction of Europe’s defense expenditure and military forces was yet another major wrong decision. This is even more evident as public opinion in the U.S. calls for a reduction in its nation’s military involvement in international affairs.9

Europeans may be playing a dangerous role – with or without the U.S.’s problematic positions – through their share in exacerbating the Ukrainian conflict. At the same time, they continue causing political problems for Israel. The E.U. should be confronted by Israel’s leadership far more than it has in the past, about their double standards and mistakes, which may cloud the world’s future.


1.“Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994”, Council on Foreign Relations, 5 December 1994.

2. Ludwig Greven,Putin verstehen mit Gerhard Schröder,” Zeit Online, 9 March 2014 [German].

3. Stefan Aust and Daniel Friedrich Sturm, “Seit mehr als 14 Jahren begrüßen wir uns so,” Die Welt am Sonntag, 11 May 2014. [German]

4. Michael Nienaber, “EU partly to blame for Ukraine crisis: Merkel’s deputy,” Reuters, 14 May 2014.

5. Manfred Gerstenfeld interview with Alan Baker, “The Dirty Legal Hands of the European Union,” Israel National News, 23 October 2013.

6. Robert Burns, “NATO official: Russia now an adversary,” AP, 1 May 2014.

7. Philip Rucker, “Hillary Clinton says Putin’s actions are like ‘what Hitler did back in the ’30’s,’” The Washington Post, 5 March 2014.

8. Peter Baker, “In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes off Putin,” The New York Times, 19 April 2014.

9. Janet Hook, “Americans Want to Pull Back from World Stage, Poll Finds,” The Wall Street Journal, 30 April 2014.










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