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July 10, 2016 5:30 am

Former Israeli Ambassador: Europe’s ‘Obsession’ With Jews Should Serve as Warning to America

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Former Israeli ambassador and Kulanu MK Michael Oren. Photo: Wikipedia.

Former Israeli ambassador and Kulanu MK Michael Oren. Photo: Wikipedia.

Europe’s “obsession” with Jews should serve as a warning to America as it grapples with how to support Israel, a former Israeli ambassador to the US wrote on Thursday.

In an op-ed published by Newsweek, Michael Oren — a member of Knesset for the centrist Kulanu Party and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee – expressed shock at the way in which European lawmakers hound Israel.

Relating a recent conversation he had with the head of the Dutch Foreign Affairs Committee — in which the chairman said, “The fiercest arguments we have in parliament are over Israel” — Oren said he was “startled” that Israel topped the list of the country’s problems.

“Let me get this straight,” Oren told the chairman. “Your country is in economic crisis, tens of thousands of refugees are massing on your borders, and the EU may be unraveling, and yet the issue that most occupies you is…Israel?”

This preoccupation, Oren said, is not necessarily about Israel, but rather Europe’s ongoing struggle towards self-identity. “For them, the Jewish state is exactly that, a state of Jews against whom the West is once again defining itself,” he wrote.

Relating that this struggle has been ongoing for “more than two thousand years” in Europe — from the time of the ancient Hellenic and Roman worlds to 20th century Munich — Oren, who is also an accomplished historian, wrote,“Jews remained necessary. Without them, Europeans were at pains to specify who they were and were not. And that role continues today.”

While Europe’s “continuing fixation on Jews indeed presents challenges to Israel” today, Oren warns that “the far greater danger is that the obsession could grip the United States.”

“The debate over Israel is increasingly becoming a debate over America. In the current elections, especially, pro-Israel platforms are associated with a muscular view of US foreign policy, a strong stand against Islamic extremism, and a willingness to assume world leadership,” Oren wrote. “Conversely, positions described as ‘even-handed’ on Israeli issues are likely to be accompanied by a recoiling from military force, dependence on the UN and other international organizations, and a focus on domestic matters.”

The Jews, Oren maintained, “do not need to serve as crucibles for yet another nation’s identity,” which in Europe has “resulted in incalculable suffering for my people and continues to plague us today.”

Oren concluded that he hopes the US will have “the self-confidence to determine by itself its place in the world, to debate its future openly and even rigorously, but without reference to the Jews and our nation-state.”

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  • Oren as always is right.

    Europe and the EU are the same people who turned over their Jews to the Nazis and then stole their wealth and property.

    They haven’t changed and never paid for what they did to the Jews.

    Shame that Jews have always been moral and correct instead of being cold blooded psychopaths who could give these bastards what they gave us.

    It wasn’t Ben-Gurion who forced the British to leave Palestine but Begin and the Irgun, the Stern Gang and all the other fighters.

    Ben-Gurion didn’t even want a Jewish army.

  • brenrod

    “This preoccupation, Oren said, is not necessarily about Israel, but rather Europe’s ongoing struggle towards self-identity. “

    LOLROF….. sorry, but it is nothing to do with self identity but everything to do with cowardice. The brave and courageous genes of europe left for the west and australia over the last few hundred years. All that is left is left is a genetic line of cowardly appeasers. what is happening today reflects those genes. Their fear of muslims is answered by stalking and blaming Jews in order to appease their imports… they did the same with the nazis. They even give their wives and daughters over to them for raping and grooming they are so pathetic.

  • Lillian

    This was so well written, I cried at its honesty.

  • Ambassador Oren is right about europe. The problem is that Europe’s anti-Semitism is a natural product and part of their need to blame somebody for their problems, inefficiency and often ignorance. In March 1938 whenHitler y”sh came to Vienna the Archbishop stood on to of a special tribune with his arm outstretched in the Nazi salute and welcomed Hitler “Thank you for saving us from the Jews”! As a born Viennese I try to tell Jews ” remeber what happened to Austrian Jewry overnight on the 11th. March 1938″ because it can happen anywhere in Europe The bitter joke then was that “Viennas Jews went to sleep in Austria and without travelling found themselves in Germany””! Sadly OUR people never want to see the warning lights. Maybe now Europe will treat the “Muslim refugees” as they did the Jews in the 1930’s.

  • RobertF

    There can be no just comparison between Europe, with its thousand-year history of Jewish persecutions culminating in the Holocaust, and the United States, a nation of Constitutional values which enshrines the protection of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and which favors nations which share its values.

    A recent Gallup Poll shows that 62% of Americans favor Israel over the Palestinians, while only 15% favor the Palestinians over Israel. Even among registered Democrats, 58% favor Israel over the Palestinians, while only 23% favor the Palestinians over Israel. In Europe, I’m certain these numbers are reversed. So I strongly disagree with Oren’s comparison. There is no historic foundation for it, and it misses the essential difference between Europeans and Americans.

    • Mireille Mechoullam

      I agree with you that the majority of Americans favor Israel thanks to Pastor Hagee and the Evangelicals but the State department has been always antisemitic and right now we have a President who is a declared Pro Arab and surrounded by pro Hamas and Hezbollah. You can check it yourself. Also don’t forget that his 1st speech was in Cairo and said his 1st lye that the Muslim World has been an enlightenment for America. WE have now tons of Muslims living in the USA who are preaching that Sharia is the only system who should govern the world so wake up before it’s too late before we become like Europe.

  • nat cheiman

    Europe does not see the threats within its borders but continues to allow the migrants to obfuscate the real issues surrounding the continent

  • David Rubel

    Meir Kahane once said “The Christians kill the Muslims, the Muslims kill the Chritians, the Muslims kill the Muslims, and everyone blames the Jews. I think that line sums up the world’s attitude towards us better than anything

  • stevenl

    Europe the cradle of antisemitism.

  • ESLombard

    There should be a US concern about the Muslim takeover in Europe with all the social problems e.g rape and harassment. Chief concern should be the attempts to install Sharia law and the Caliphate. The process is well underway now and seeded in N and S America.

  • NuritG

    Anti-Semitism makes the Europeans’ gene

  • I would need more background on the gentleman from the Netherlands in order to properly parse his comment.

    • Using the word “gentleman” for the Dutchman is not the appropriate appellation. “Jew-hater” will do just fine.

  • Jay Lavine

    The European concept of Jews seems to fall along racial/ethnic lines, and the Holocaust didn’t change that. Unfortunately, those who most frequently employ the informal name for Israel, “the Jewish state,” seem to have a not too dissimilar perspective. It would be helpful to effect a change in that perspective by thinking of Jews as a people defined by the way of life they follow, a leading moral and ethical philosophical approach to living.