By Richard Mather…
The decision by the European Union to approve guidelines under which its member states would label products from the “West Bank” settlements looks back to the Nazi labelling of Jewish goods and looks forward to the dismantling of Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem. Despite international law being on Israel’s side (contrary to popular opinion), the EU remains stubbornly committed to a State of Palestine on Jewish land.
Europe has a history of dispossessing Jews and/or deciding where they should be located. The EU’s labelling decision is a hangover of centuries of prejudice when a succession of emperors, princes, popes, priests, dictators and fascists decreed where Jews were allowed to reside and work. Even in the twenty-first century Jews are being outlawed because they do not conform to the international diktat that says they’re not allowed to live in certain parts of Eretz Israel.
How is it that Europe, which is responsible for extermination of one-third of world Jewry, has the audacity to dictate policy to a tiny country that is home to the descendants of Holocaust survivors? I cannot be the only person who is repulsed by this hypocrisy. The fact that the EU does not apply the same labelling criteria to other countries that are accused of “occupation,” such as Morocco and Turkey, only makes things worse.
Antipathy towards Jews is one explanation for the EU’s attitude towards the Jewish “settlers.” And, of course, the EU is probably using the Palestinian issue to ingratiate itself with the growing Muslim community inside its borders. But perhaps Europe’s unquestioned support for the Palestinians is motivated by a desire to resurrect European influence in the Middle East. By coalescing into a single powerful unit, Europe is now in a position to flex its muscles. Europe may not have the military might to exert its influence, but it has plenty of soft power in the form of diplomacy, trade and aid money.
The European Commission is the biggest donor of financial assistance to the Palestinians. Europe has squandered billions of euros in development aid to the Palestinians over the past twenty years regardless of the Palestinians’ involvement in terrorism and incitement against Jews. The money flowing out of Europe into the hands of the Palestinians is a core component of a European mission called the Action Plan in which the EU and the Palestinian Authority work together “to build up the institutions of a future democratic, independent and viable Palestinian State.”
The EU is pre-empting final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging the latter to carry out construction projects in Area C and east Jerusalem without Israel’s cooperation. The EU also wants the Palestinians to become more politically active in east Jerusalem in order to create conditions for a future Palestinian capital. In other words, Europe has dispensed with the Oslo Accords and is urging the Palestinians to act unilaterally.
Make no mistake about it. The EU is economically and politically committed to the prevention of the fulfilment of the mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz (settling the Land of Israel) in order to make way for a hostile Palestinian state. One could argue that the creation of a State of Palestine in Judea-Samaria and east Jerusalem is the core objective of EU foreign policy. And even if it means isolating and delegitimising the Jews who already live there, the EU will continue to press ahead with its colonial ambition of creating a twenty-third Arab state.