It would have made sense for the European Union to be in Israel’s good books, rather than in a potential “black book.” Israel’s imports from the EU exceed its exports to the region, by several billion euros.
Research collaboration with Israel is of value to the EU in view of Israel’s scientific creativity. Yet during several decades the EU has maligned and defamed Israel.
In line with the fragmented nature of contemporary ‘post-modern’ society, EU attitudes are not homogeneous, and the totality of all the negative attitudes toward Israel is not self-evident.
The maligning of Israel has also contributed to the great increase in European anti-Semitism over the past decades. Comparable statistics on anti-Semitic incidents in the various member countries of Europe do not even exist. In addition, after abandoning a prior working definition of anti-Semitism, the EU has not developed another. This despite it being the most basic precondition for fighting anti-Semitism. While the EU has made some feeble attempts to deal with the hatred, its actions have been primarily verbal and barely effective.
The EU’s defamation of Israel and the undermining of its sovereignty are of major dimensions. If Israel’s “black book” were transformed from an idea into an actual black book it would greatly help in exposing the EU’s incitement against it. A single volume could reveal the many ways in which Europe discriminates against Israel and defames it. It could also list examples comparing this behavior to the way in which the EU has averted its gaze from much of the extreme racism and criminal attitudes in Arab and Muslim countries.
The current time is particularly propitious for the creation of such a black book. The EU is in major disarray due its incompetent handling of the current refugee crisis, after ignoring the building up of refugee-related problems for several years. The current crisis has heightened friction between individual EU member countries, as well as exposed the regional body’s tensions with several of its members.
Discussions in the United Kingdom in favor of and against a British exit from the EU (Brexit) provide yet another source of information about the weaknesses of the EU. Some of the arguments brought forward there against the EU could form part of a document exposing its misdemeanors toward Israel. The same is true regarding some disclosures concerning the refugee crisis. One such example is Hungary’s claim that there are 900 no-go areas in Europe which are overrun by migrants and where the authorities cannot establish the rule of law.
Such a proposed black book would include the high percentages of EU citizens – in the region of 40 percent – who consider that Israel behaves like the Nazis, or that Israel conducts a war of extermination against the Palestinians.
That these absurd opinions are so widespread is a damning condemnation of contemporary Europe.
Frequent incitement against Israel has achieved its defamatory goals.
This comes from the EU itself and from European political echelons. It also emerges from civil society entities such as media, NGOs, some liberal churches, academia, trade unions and more. If indeed Israel were conducting a war of extermination, Palestinians would have become extinct long ago. In reality the Palestinians are now much more numerous than several decades ago.
False moral equivalence comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis was even used decades ago by now deceased prominent social-democratic politicians, including French president François Mitterrand, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme and Greek prime minister Andreas Papandreou.
Without devoting more study to the subject, it is not possible to draw up a full table of contents for this proposed black book, though some chapter headings are already evident.
The EU not only insists on referring to the disputed West Bank as “occupied territories,” it even refuses to enter into debate on the subject.
Over a thousand lawyers and jurists have written to the EU on this issue, receiving confirmation only from a junior EU staffer. If the EU were so convinced of the occupied status of the West Bank, it would not have avoided the debate.
Another chapter could be devoted to the EU requirement that products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights be labeled separately. As the EU has not applied the same measures in other similar or more obvious cases this represents double standards, one of the key characteristics of anti-Semitism. The labeling issue brought the EU into the 2015 list of major anti-Semitic slurs published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The EU’s voting patterns in the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies would also be worthy of a chapter.
Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold has shown how the European voting record at the UN demonstrates a longstanding anti-Israel bias. He explained how the EU participated in the demonization of Israel at the UN.
A further chapter should be devoted to the undermining of Israel’s sovereignty.
One aspect of this would be to scrutinize EU financing of Israeli NGOs which ignore extreme Palestinian crimes. Another could deal with the EU funding of illegal building in Area C.
The EU has allowed massive non-selective immigration from Muslim countries for decades, giving rise to part of the significant increase in anti-Semitism in European countries.
This subject should also be included in the proposed black book.
Muslims have been the originators of most extreme anti-Semitic incidents in Europe since the end of the past century. Muslims have committed all anti-Semitic murders of Jews in the EU. Yet Muslims are not the only factor in the increasingly problematic state of Jews in many European countries.
In moving from theory to practical matters, who should finance such a black book? This cannot be done by the Israeli government because of the nature of its relations with Europe, and preferably should not be done by any Jewish organizations. This provides an excellent opportunity for a single individual wishing to make a major contribution toward exposing a large supranational defaming body.
European defamation of Israel will not end with the publication of such a black book, however deserving the EU may be of such critical exposure.
However, those wishing to defend Israel against this onslaught, will have a single reliable source as part of their ammunition, with references to the many instances and aspects of the EU’s incitement against Israel and its discriminatory policies toward an important client for its exports and partner for its scientific enterprise.