A European parliamentarian speaking in Tel Aviv on Monday called on Israel’s malcontents on the continent to drop their “hypocrisy” and embrace a fair, two-sided debate about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
“All debates on the Middle East are very one sided, badly informed, and ideological,” said Bastian Belder, a Dutch member of the European Parliament.Speaking at panel during the Go4Israel conference at the Tel Aviv Hilton, which seeks to promote business relationships between Israeli companies and firms oversees, Belder denounced European leaders for turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism there.
In spite of mounting hate against Jews in Europe, he said, “We in the European Parliament didn’t have any debate on the anti-Semitic tide in Europe.”
He was joined on the panel, titled “The Image of Israel Abroad,” by Chinese investor Ronnie Chan and Yossi Vardi, an Israeli entrepreneur who has served as an adviser to the World Bank and the United Nations.
Vardi warned that Israel “had better see the writing on the wall” with regard to growing anti-Israel sentiment, calling it a grave source of concern.
In contrast, Chan said that China tends to be pragmatic in its relations with Israel and to take a friendly tack – though mounting dependence on Arab petroleum states and the growth of Muslim minorities could change that.