The decline of the West

UK’s move against Israel fits into the European trend of appeasing Islam.

Osama bin Laden must be laughing his head off while plotting his next action against Europe in his dusty cave somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once again Great Britain has demonstrated what a staunch ally it can be. One can trust the West; democracy is good for terrorists. It views terror as an ordinary offense against society and deals with it accordingly. Never mind that Bin Laden, Khaled Mashaal, Hassan Nasrallah, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the like have basically declared war on Western society and its values, and are making a concerted effort to achieve their aim. First on their list is Israel.
This is not a conventional war but something far more insidious and dangerous. Terrorists hide among civilians to target civilians. This is a gross violation of international law and all the conventions dealing with the rules of engagement should be addressed as such, with Western nations banding together to fight this modern scourge. They have to search and neutralize terrorists.
Like the US, England sends its very own secret service people to search out and kill terrorists wherever they are – from Ireland to Gibraltar to Afghanistan. Of course, they have their pick of Commonwealth passports. But let a master terrorist, a man who has killed, a man who has been masterminding the steady flow of arms into Gaza, the arms used against Israeli citizens, die in suspicious circumstances and all fingers are pointed at the assumed culprit – Israel.
GREAT BRITAIN, a country which has made so many Muslim arch-murderers welcome (Abu Hamza al-Masri, Abu Qatada who was considered Bin Laden’s representative in Europe, to name just two), granting them political asylum on the grounds they would be put to death in their own countries because of their crimes there; Great Britain where the disciples of these murderers launched deadly attacks against British civilians in 2005, decided that now was the time to make a stand.
By expelling an Israeli diplomat it would show the world that it would not let an alleged misuse of its passports go unpunished.
The move was, of course, warmly welcomed by Hamas in Gaza – a place where some British citizens were held prisoners without reason in the not-so-distant past. This move against Israel is seen as weakening that country’s capacity in fighting terror. It fits perfectly in the current European trend of appeasing Islam at all costs. Nowhere is that trend more visible than in England.
The archbishop of Canterbury, the country’s highest religious authority, calls for the introduction of Shari’a – Islamic Law – in British law. Illegal Islamic courts hand out judgments in complete violations of local law. Extremist Muslim organizations working with far-left groups are busy demonstrating against Israel, calling for the boycott of its products and of its culture. The British government remains passive in the name of freedom of speech and opinion, while the freedom of speech of Israeli representatives is severely curtailed and they are prevented from stating the case for Israel on campuses and public venues.
What’s worse is that we are talking about two supposedly friendly countries: Aren’t they both democracies, based on a parliamentary system; aren’t they both committed to human rights and freedom of speech? And aren’t they both fighting terror?
So how can the UK so conveniently forget the threats made against Israel on a daily basis by terror organizations and their unending attempts to kill Israeli civilians while stockpiling weapons for the next round of fighting?
Far more innocent civilians have been killed by allied troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere than in Gaza, but no one is suggesting another Goldstone Report.
While Israeli officers and officials are threatened with arrest if they set foot on British soil, no allied soldier or official faces a similar fate. Would someone explain why?
SOME ISRAELI commentators hastened to write that the whole affair wasn’t so bad, much ado about nothing, and that Israel’s actions had left England with little choice but do what it did. They are wrong. Measures could have been taken to deal with the matter efficiently, but discreetly. Condemning Israel publicly sends the wrong message. It is a clear encouragement to its enemies from the axis of evil.
On the other hand, it blends seamlessly with the talks Britain has started with Hizbullah under the transparent if not fraudulent excuse that the dialogue is with the political branch of the organization. Nasrallah makes no bones about his aim, which is to destroy Israel, and he says it often and repeatedly. Arab countries are now eagerly if not gleefully waiting to see what other Western country might follow suit. 
One can ask what good will weakening Israel do. There won’t be ananswer. As an Italian politician told me recently: “Europe has it toogood. It  has no wish to really fight terror and halt the Islamic wavethreatening to engulf it. You are on your own, my friend.”
The writer is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden and a fellow of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs.