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January 28, 2015 3:43 pm

Israeli Minister: ‘Only Europe Gives Us a Hard Time,’ EU Doesn’t Understand Terrorist Threat


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

European Parliament member Daniel Hannan reveals his conversation with an Israeli minister in a column for the Washington Examiner. Photo: Twitter.

European leaders are the only group that doesn’t understand the terrorist threat Israel faces, an Israeli minister told Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European Parliament, last week.

“It’s only Europe that gives us a hard time,” said the Israeli minister. “Yesterday, I had the Canadian foreign minister sitting where you’re sitting now. I had a cross-party delegation from the US Senate. I had ministers from India and Japan. All of them understood that Israel was facing a terrorist threat. But the EU starts from the assumption that we’re in the wrong. Why?”

Hannan revealed his conversation with the unnamed Israeli minister in a piece he wrote for the Washington Examiner, which was published on Monday. The Israeli official was only identified as a “Likud  minister.”

In the article, titled, “Why Israel rankles Europeans so much,” Hannan tries to address the Israeli minister’s concerns and says “one thing above all” makes Europe different: The EU’s ruling ideology of “supra-nationalism.”

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“[EU] founders detested the national principle, which they regarded as one step away from fascism and war. They were wrong: The misalignment of national units with state frontiers is arguably the chief cause of conflict in the world, from Chechnya to Kashmir, from Sri Lanka to South Sudan,” Hannan explains. “But they sincerely believed that national loyalties were irrational, transient and dangerous, as do their successors today.”

“Israel represents the most vivid vindication of the national principle that humanity has witnessed,” he says. Israelis were stateless for 2,000 years but never lost their aspiration to nationhood and eventually fulfilled it. Hannan said, “To a Briton or an American, it’s a heartening story. But it strikes at the Euro-integrationist’s entire worldview.”

The British Conservative also admitted that antisemitism “lingers” in parts of the EU and barely a month passes without the European Parliament passing some resolution critical of Israel. Like all countries, he says, Israel sometimes makes mistakes and brings criticism on itself. However, he calls the obsessive focus on Israel “disproportionate.”

Hannan further explains that Israel is no longer seen as “the underdog.” He notes, “A surprising number of people, especially on the Left, approach virtually every question by trying to establish a hierarchy of victimhood and, having picked their side, become almost indifferent to anything else.”

“I know who I’d rather have on my side; and it’s not the Bolivarians — or the Eurocrats,” Hannan concludes. “Israel has its problems, but it will still be around when the EU is one with Nineveh and Tyre.”

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