But first, lets go to the video tape, where the ambassador has the nerve to talk about ”Europe bashing”, then launches into the meme of ”Israel needs to be held to a double or ”higher” standard:
NOTE: Dr.Gerstenfeld’s op-ed which was published today at INN, is republished here with the author’s consent.
DANISH AMBASSADOR PROMOTES NEW VERSION OF DISCRIMINATION OF ISRAEL
Applying double standards against Jews has been a classical tool of anti-Semitism. For centuries, Jews were discriminated in Europe and elsewhere through double standards because they were “not one of us.” Some examples of discrimination included Jews being forced to live in ghettos, having to wear different clothes, being excluded from many professions, having to pay special taxes, and so on.
In the long history of European discrimination of Jews, there are new inventions that come up from time to time. One example of this was promoted by the Danish ambassador to Israel, Jesper Vahr. At the recent diplomatic conference held by The Jerusalem Post, he said that Europe should apply a double standard to Israel when judging its actions compared to those of other Middle-Eastern nations. To add insult to injury, Vahr added, “Israel should insist that we discriminate, that we apply double standards. This is because you are one of us.”1
Vahr continued, “Israelis sometimes ask why Europe applies a different standard to its neighboring countries, such as Syria…Those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by.”
These comments imply that the Europe the ambassador spoke so highly about has returned to maintain a colonial attitude. The Western colonizers looked down upon the natives as belonging to inferior cultures, and applying double standards when judging the natives’ actions was part of the supremacist mentality.
Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, however, inter alia, “Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience.” The view promoted by Vahr, that Syria should be judged with lesser standards, implies that Syrians are endowed with less reason, less conscience and less dignity than Europeans and Israelis.
An Israeli journalist once explained to me why some Western journalists did not report much about Palestinian crimes. He said something to the effect of, “they see the Arabs as savages, and think ‘what can you expect from such people’?” The journalist’s explanation was a cruder expression of the attitude promoted by the Danish ambassador.
The European double standards toward Israel fit in very well with an attitude which I have described elsewhere in detail as “humanitarian racism.” This type of racism is rarely recognized, but is close in content to colonialist racism, although coming from the left. It preserves the inferior status of the non-Westerners but extends sympathy toward their perceived inferiority. Humanitarian racism can best be defined as attributing reduced responsibility to people of certain ethnic or national groups for their criminal behavior and intentions, even if these are of major dimension. Humanitarian racists judge delinquency and crime differently according to the color and socioeconomic status of the perpetrators. For example, white people are held to higher standards of responsibility than people of color.2
In practice, the European double standards give license to the Palestinians to commit crimes which can subsequently be ignored. Mohammed Abbas and Fatah regularly glorify the murderers of Israeli civilians. Such policies are not problematic for Europe, because their humanitarian racism allows for holding the Palestinians to lower standards. Hamas promotes genocide against all Jews in the pursuit of pleasing Allah. Hamas is put on the Europeans’ terror list because its Islamonazism goes a bit far in European eyes, after the Jews in Europe were the targets of genocide during the Holocaust. Yet the Europeans are donating money to rebuild Gaza, even when they know that part of such funds will fill Hamas’ treasury.
One has to deal forcefully with Vahr’s opinions because his are not of private nature. Frans Timmermans is the current First Vice Chairman of the European Commission. He was still holding the post of Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs when he spoke at Tel Aviv University in December 2013. Timmermans said, “In the relations between Israel and Europe, double standards are used. Why? Because Europeans consider Israel to be a European country. Israel is judged in the same way as other European countries judge themselves and other European countries.”3
The issue of the European attitude toward the Israeli settlements shows that even that statement is not true. According to recent EU rules, none of their money should go to ventures within the Israeli settlements, because they are considered by the EU to be in “occupied territories.” They are actually in “disputed territories.” The EU claims that since it does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories, it has an obligation to prevent its money reaching them.
Eugene Kontorovich has pointed out, however, that despite these guidelines, “the EU still knowingly and purposefully provides substantial direct financial assistance to settlements in occupied territory – in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, that is. So the EU funds the occupation of an EU member state. Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974 was condemned by the UN Security Council, and the EU’s official policy is that the Turkish occupation is illegitimate, and Turkey must completely withdraw. The EU does not recognize the Turkish government in Northern Cyprus. Nonetheless, the EU maintains an entire separate program to direct funds to Northern Cyprus.”4
It is a clear example of how the EU discriminates against Israel by demanding higher standards from Israel than it demands from itself. The Danish ambassador’s statements serve as a good example of where Ugly Europe (the UE) and the European Union (the EU) overlap. How the Danes greatly embellish their wartime past by not mentioning the Danish mass murders of Jews in Eastern Europe is yet another story.5
1 Tovah Lazaroff, “Danish Ambassador, JPost’s Caroline Glick exchange verbal blows over EU attitude toward Israel,” Jerusalem Post, 12 December 2014.
2 Manfred Gerstenfeld, Behind the Humanitarian Mask (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, 2008), 22-23
3 Speech of Frans Timmermans, Tel Aviv University, 9 December 2013.
4 Eugene Kontorovich, “How the EU directly funds settlements in occupied territory,”
Jerusalem Post, 28 September 2013