Donate

Europe’s Deluded Attitude toward Israel

In an extensive study of the antagonistic policy and rhetoric of the European Union and its members toward Israel, Fiamma Nirenstein sees not only a “fundamental . . . misunderstanding and ignorance of Israeli national needs” but also a tendency to blame Israel’s leaders for creating the rift in the first place. In this connection, she cites a report produced by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a highly regarded German research institute, that bizarrely, on the basis of a survey of some 1,000 Israelis, finds the political success of Benjamin Netanyahu to be mostly responsible for supposedly turning Israel against the European Union:

The [report] considers the prime minister and his government to be the “driving forces” of the process of detachment from Europe, alluding heavily to the prime minister’s “political scandals and corruption allegations confronting him” as a rationale for his siding with the extreme right, [which according to the study] is gaining power as the Israeli religious forces grow bigger and stronger. . . . The reason for this conclusion remains quite mysterious: why should the supposed larger influence of the right wing necessarily push Israel to antipathy toward Europe? . . .

While the decline of the popularity of the EU [among Israelis] is seen [by the report] as “a symptom of a general abandonment of international organizations,” it’s quite evident that the truth is the opposite. The “abandonment” is a reaction to these organizations’ negative attitude toward Israel, including their obsessive concern over the “occupied territories.” [For instance], Israel announced its intention to leave UNESCO on December 22, 2017, in response to “systematic attacks” on the Jewish state that ignored or diminished the Jewish connections to Jerusalem—attacks notably backed by European nations. . . . Or consider Europe’s denial of Israel’s right of self-defense during the wars in Gaza; . . . or the letter by nineteen distinguished officials like EU Special Representative Miguel Moratinos or EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Javier Solana of May 11, 2015, about how to increase pressure on Israel to surrender “occupied territories” to the Palestinian Authority. . . .

In other words, Nirenstein writes, Europe fixates on condemning Israel and is then surprised that these condemnations aren’t repaid with love. She continues:

While attacking Israel, Europe takes a strange stance insisting that it is just providing a public palliative for some Israeli illness. The ambassadors of European countries repeat privately that their condemnations of Israel do not inflict serious damage on Israel’s economy, nor do they interfere with good economic relations. They ask that Israel avoid dramatizing their own actions. But the continent’s anti-Israel acts do inflict damage and create tension between Israel and the continent. . . . As a matter of fact, Europe promotes the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) and, [by funneling money to Palestinian organizations], terrorism.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: EU, Europe and Israel, Israel & Zionism

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen