Europe’s Failure to Exercise the Diplomacy of Truth
The surrender to threats, economic opportunism, and hypocrisy.
The chilled relationship between Europe and Israel arises from a fundamental European misunderstanding and ignorance of Israeli national needs. In every critical political decision, whether supporting the Iran deal, condemning U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, supporting UNESCO dangerous revisionism of Jerusalem’s Jewish cultural history, or refusing to identify the true source of European anti-Semitism, Europe has consistently taken the antagonistic position towards Israel. Despite this, the general European conclusion is that the unfriendly relations are Israel’s fault due to its right-wing policies led by the nationalistic Netanyahu government. Pretending that the relationship is strained because of a right-wing Israel, allows Europe to shirk its own responsibility for the decline of EU popularity in Israel.
In Europe, a sympathetic automatic switch clicks on when the Muslim world is involved, especially when it came to the Iranian nuclear deal. This sympathy goes together with Europe’s incomprehension of Donald Trump’s personality and actions, seen as anti-liberal and extreme right-wing. Coherent criticisms of the Iranian deal are ignored. This allows Europe to avoid any honest discussion and to marginalize and personalize the review of the Iran deal that Trump advocates. Actually, the European Union’s position, instead of serving its real interests dangerously looks at the past. Business interests and political correctness must not be more important than enforcing anti-proliferation, no more serious than finally visiting Iranian military sites that hide the real secrets of Iran’s non-compliance, and most of all, considering the dangerous essence of the Iranian threat. All this poses a threat, first and foremost to the Middle East, and immediately after that, to Europe.
Instead of facing the real and present dangers of anti-Semitism, Europe is focused on fighting its past “ghosts” of anti-Semitism. Today, the “new Jew” – the Israeli, along with his proxies, the diaspora Jews – are condemned in a way that has nothing to do with the tradition of right-wing political parties. Today, the Jews are not seen in the same way, as they were 90 years ago. The face of anti-Semitism has changed, and therefore widespread right-wing anti-Semitism is quite improbable. The general perception of the Jew is no longer that of a cosmopolitan parasite and traitor of Western values, but quite the opposite. The Jews and Israel, in fact, wholeheartedly embrace Western values and customs, and this “original sin” is more likely to be readily employed by the European Left than by the Right.
The option of speaking the truth is the only way for Israel to establish a new relationship with Europe. European leaders showed that they could easily vote for the worst lies about Israel (in the General Assembly but also in other UN bodies). UNESCO, for instance, regularly votes on resolutions which deny any Jewish ties to the Western Wall and recognizes it as an Islamic heritage site. Their voting against Israel and choosing an absurd lie like denying Jerusalem ties to the Jewish People and Israel defy reason and history. And then the European leaders feign friendship to the Jewish state.
Why does Israel have a difficult relationship with Europe? Why is Europe so tough on Israel? And how do we find the way to correct this sour relationship?