Stop applauding Mahmoud Abbas

The EU is sending out a simple message: our money is conditional, so why is Abbas exempt?

May 8, 2018 07:33
2 minute read.
European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Mogherini welcomes Palestinian President Abbas

European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Brussels, Belgium. (photo credit: YVES HERMAN / REUTERS)


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Well, this is awkward.

The European institutions are trying – quite creatively as it happens, given the difficult structures of their budget rules – to find ways of pulling the “illiberal democracies” of certain Eastern European member states into line by threatening reductions in their budget.

The logic goes a little like this: want to tinker with your judiciary, or stymie the national debate by curtailing the media in your country? Go ahead, but we will cut your structural funding and leave you with a massive budget black hole for all those infrastructure projects that we pay for, and that to endear you to your electorate.

In other words, the EU is sending out a simple message: our money is conditional.

You respect the rules or you pay the price. So what’s awkward about that? Seems perfectly fair and reasonable, right? “The Holocaust wasn’t caused by antisemitism,” but by the “social behavior” of the Jews, including “money-lending, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”

Read that again. It’s disgusting isn’t it? If Mein Kampf had a part two, you could imagine those words being in there. If you were funding an organization or charity, or paid a subscription to a newspaper that used those words (without being ironic or satirical), you would most likely stop the direct debit or cancel the subscription, wouldn’t you?

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY President Mahmoud Abbas said those words last week at a general meeting of the PA. But he didn’t stop there.

Ashkenazi Jews are not descendants of the ancient Israelites, he said, and European Jews therefore had “no historical ties” to Israel.

OH, AND Israel was conceived as a European project and European leaders such as the United Kingdom’s Lord Arthur Balfour restricted Jewish immigration to their countries while simultaneously promoting Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel.

The New York Times, as any reader will know, is not known as a cheerleader for Israel, but its editorial board had heard enough, calling it a “new low” for Abbas, which would hopefully be his “last words as Palestinian leader.”

And they don’t even give him a cent of their revenue.

But what about those paying him some 290 million euros in taxpayer cash a year? The biggest contributors to the PA worldwide? Who give more than all the Arab states combined? That same set of EU institutions that is currently trying to condition the funds it provides to its own members.

Abbas, who spews words lifted straight out of the Nazi archive – and his acolytes who applaud him for doing so – will continue to get paid in full.

Awkward, right? You would be embarrassed, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you, Mrs.Mogherini....

The author is the director of EIPA: Europe Israel Public Affairs, a multi-disciplined pro-Israel advocacy group based in Brussels, with offices in Paris and Berlin.

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