For EU Officials, Anti-Israel Behavior Is Routine
Brexit is now dominating the headlines in Europe, bringing the European Union (EU) into more focus than ever before.
But this much-lauded organization is not the paragon of virtue that it, and its supporters, suppose it to be. The EU is blatantly anti-Israel. Their support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and their veneration of Israel’s enemies, places them in this category. The EU’s default position is that whatever is good for Israel must be condemned.
There are several pro-Israel lobbying groups within the European Parliament whose work is admirable, but they don’t make much of an impact. They are drowning in the EU’s quagmire of systemic anti-Israel bias.
The EU embraced Barack Obama’s deceitful Iran deal, misguidedly acclaimed as a peace initiative when it was signed in Geneva in 2013. But the smiling face of Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister and representative of the regime at the signing, was an obvious sign that the deal benefited only Iran and increased risks to America’s and Israel’s national security.
The EU’s Pavlovian response to Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal was to lambast him, and cuddle up even closer to the Iranian regime. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has made it her personal business to build close ties with Iran, despite the fact that the country is the biggest global exporter of terrorism. Britain, France, and Germany, all part of the EU, have installed a system called INTEX, which allows European business to trade with the Islamic regime, despite US sanctions.
At the same time, Mogherini is openly hostile to Israel. Under her watch, the EU has funded at least 14 European and Palestinian NGOs, several with links to terror organizations. And the fact that the EU hands over millions to organizations that support the BDS campaign should concern any Jew who values Israel.
And the EU hasn’t stopped there. It has also implemented its own boycott of Israeli goods, claiming to protest “illegal settlements” in “occupied land.” The settlements are in disputed, not occupied, land. But the EU tend to ignore facts when it suits them.
True to form, the EU’s member countries spoke out against Trump’s recent recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This is in line with the EU’s response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The EU claimed that this would hamper the peace process, an empty refrain recycled every time anything good happens for Israel.
Mogherini extols not only Iran, but also Jordan whenever she can. Given the vicious Jordanian control over Jerusalem until 1967, and their restriction on Jews accessing the Western Wall, she is deluded in her claims that Jordan plays a “special role” in looking after religious sites. Jordan is also guilty of harboring the terrorist Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, responsible for the murder of 15-year-old Malki Roth and other victims in the Sbarro terror attack in Jerusalem.
Yet Mogherini pays homage to Jordan’s King Abdullah II by describing him as “a very wise” man. Mogherini is not a teenage social justice warrior. She leads the EU’s foreign policy decisions, followed blindly by most of their member states. And she is not alone in her confused adulation of Jordan.
Last month a prominent Catholic group, the Franciscans, absurdly presented King Abdullah with a prize called “The Lamp of Peace of St. Francis” — a misnomer given Jordan’s antics. Yet the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, saw fit to crow about this on Twitter, inadvertently summing up the EU’s stance on the Middle East and Israel in one succinct tweet.
The EU’s agenda should concern every Jew living in Europe, because their taxes contribute to the salaries of the prolifically anti-Israel apparatchiks who dominate the EU. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Karen Harradine is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on politics and antisemitism. Born in South Africa, she has lived in Singapore, Canada, and the UK.