Europe May Finally Be Ready to Make Its Peace with Israel

During the recent round of fighting, Slovenia, Austria, and the Czech Republic all flew Israeli flags from important government buildings as a sign of solidarity. And such sentiments were not limited to Jerusalem’s emerging Central European allies: Western European governments, which normally trip over themselves to express their “deep concern” over Israel’s actions, or to issue disingenuous calls for both sides to stop the violence, were unusually silent. Germany’s Angela Merkel even expressed frank support for the Jewish state. Benjamin Haddad sees many economic and geopolitical factors at work, including the Abraham Accords, but also something deeper:

Facing terror attacks in the last few years, Europeans have increasingly [seen] Israel as a country facing similar challenges, the canary in the coalmine for European democracies.

For the [European Union], the disasters of World War II called for cooperation [and for] technocratic governance transcending the ills of the nation-state. For Jerusalem, the tragic fate of Jews in Europe urged them to overcome their historic powerlessness and build a strong nation supported by . . . a powerful army. As they integrated the continent, Europeans increasingly viewed their successful model as the shape of things to come for the rest of the world. . . . And what better place to apply the European model of reconciliation than [to the Israel-Palestinian conflict]?

But things did not turn out this way. Fifteen years ago, it was commonplace for observers to forewarn growing Israeli diplomatic isolation if it failed to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue. These predictions did not come to pass. With Europe and the United States, of course, but also with new partnerships in India, Russia, and Africa, Israel has more economic and diplomatic partners than it ever had. Meanwhile, . . . Europeans are questioning their model. . . . Maybe the sense of history is tilting toward Jerusalem, after all?

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Angela Merkel, Austria, Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel diplomacy

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland