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EU building 370.(Photo by: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)
The EU shows it doesn’t understand the conflict
Instead of acknowledging that Palestinian administrations leaders have never really been interested in peace, EU chooses to blame settlements.
The EU seems to be quite antipathetic toward Israel. Why? Well, as much as the minds of European federalists are still a mystery to me, there is something I do know. The EU was created with a single purpose: To abolish the European concept of nation states. It foresaw an utopian, monocultural and borderless continent.

With this in mind, it is understandable that the EU shivers when it gazes toward Israel; with her nationalism, distinctiveness, deeply rooted cultural and religious practices and the most potent national military force in the region, the Jewish state is the epitome of a nation state. Not only that, this nation state flourishes despite everything and is therefore a prime argument against the anti-nation state doctrines of the European federalists.

Maybe this is a part of the explanation for why the EU still hasn’t listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

This continues to baffle me, for Hezbollah is an organization that stands for everything postmodern liberal minds like the ones that make up the EU are expected to oppose with vigor: Genocide, racism, child-soldiering – and don’t even bring up women’s rights.

Maybe we’re just not using the right vocabulary. After all, many of the EU’s top figures have their ideological roots in socialism or communism, so maybe we need to put it in Marxist terms: “Hezbollah are clerical fascists that use terror, so please list them as a terrorist organization.”

But it is the latest EU move on Israel – the attempt to deprive Israeli products from Judea and Samaria of their “made in Israel” label – that really shows that the EU has got it fundamentally wrong on the entire Israel/Palestine issue. The EU states that every action it takes on the Israeli matter is meant to forward the peace process. From this follows that the EU sees the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as a significant or even causal factor in the absence of a lasting peace.

For a long time, thoroughly educated by our state-funded media and university as I was, I thought this to be the case as well. But then something kicked in that a staggering amount of people somehow choose to ignore: Facts. If the Israeli presence in the West Bank, from 1967 on, is the root cause of the perpetuated conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, then why did the 1964 PLO charter state, in article 15, that it was their goal to destroy the entire State of Israel? In that year there was not a single Israeli living in Judea or Samaria, but still the whole of Israel was up for destruction according to the charter.

This ’64 PLO mentality has pervaded the upper echelons of Palestinian administration ever since. In 1993, during the Oslo Accords, Yasser Arafat said “yes” to peace, but his actions gave way to the first massive wave of terror attacks, called the “intifada.” In 2000, prime minister Ehud Barak offered the PA 93 percent of the West Bank, but the PA said no. In 2008, prime minister Ehud Olmert offered the PA almost 100% of the West Bank and accepted nearly all Palestinian demands, but again the PA declined.

Look, I know full well that I don’t have to explain this to the Israeli reader.

The relevance is that despite the facts mentioned above, most Europeans still believe the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria is the root cause of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians.

Instead of acknowledging that the leaders of the Palestinian administrations have just never really been interested in peace, they choose to blame settlements and steer their policy toward delegitimizing and undoing these settlements.

As far as my college peers are concerned, I do tend to understand this, though. Fact of the matter is that criticizing Israel is just far more likely to land you a date with those left-leaning, morally superior hot legs that make up your social-anthropology classes than proposing that the perpetuation of the conflict might in essence not be Israel’s fault after all. Priorities man, priorities.

In European vocabulary settlements are illegal because the land they are on is being illegally occupied by Israel.

Let’s just say that I’m in for a long, dreadful afternoon if I try to explain to EU-minded peers that I don’t see how there can be a case of occupation, because occupation legally requires a recognized former sovereign of the region that is now being “occupied.”

My proposition to instead call this region “disputed territory” usually gets booed of the table. This is a little odd, because there are a few dozen other cases that do pass as disputed territory.

One would think that if the EU wanted to hamper trade from a disputed territory in Israel, they would surely do the same to say, the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, which really does count as an occupied region. But no. Instead the EU approved a 259 million euro aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community back in 2006. Oh well.

But let’s face it, Europe’s antipathy toward Israel didn’t fall out of the sky when the EU was established. For do remember, US Air Force planes resupplying Israeli armed forces during the 1973 Yom Kippur war were not even allowed to refuel on European soil as Israel faced extermination. The EU was founded 20 years after this European display of moral heroism.

Maybe the words of Dutch Writer Leon de Winter are true: The love Jews once felt for Europe has remained unanswered.

The author is a Dutch master student in clinical psychology and a for the largest Dutch independent liberal conservative blog: de Dagelijkse Standaard.
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