02/21/2017

Following the referendum on Brexit, the break-up of the European Union by its collapse or by voluntary dismantling can no longer be considered as an absurd scenario for the future. In order to create a framework for reflection, it is worthwhile to begin to analyze what this means for Israel, even if Israel will play no part in this process, if ever it develops.

Particularly in the course of this new century, the European Union has adopted increasingly hostile and sometimes anti-Semitic postures against Israel on several issues. This has led the Simon Wiesenthal Center to place the European Union in third position on its 2015 list of international anti-Semitic and / or anti-Israeli incidents. He gave as reasons for this distinction:

“The European Union has chosen to stigmatize the products of the Golan Heights and the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria only, ignoring the products of other occupied and disputed territories in the world such as Western Sahara, Kashmir, Tibet and products from Hamas-controlled areas and Hezbollah. This use of double standards against Israel characterizes the modern anti-Israelism, and is at the heart of anti-Semitism for centuries [1] .

The example of discrimination above is just one example among so many other justified criticisms that Israel can direct against the EU. This hostility originates in a continent where the largest mass murder of Jews in any The story took place less than a hundred years ago. The Shoah was not only a German or Austrian project. Many other individuals and European authorities have collaborated. Certain elements of such an impact continue to have their effects today.

Today, there is an enormous amount of indirect support for Israel’s hatred and anti-Semitism from Europe. The European Commission has not done enough to develop the selection procedures concerning immigration from Muslim countries where the highest rates of anti-Semitism are found. There is evidence from Dutch Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein that when he raised the issue of Muslim immigration in a Commission meeting in the 2000s, his colleagues considered him a racist [2] . Nor has the EU, despite all its palaver on the rise of anti-Semitism, attempted to develop a unified system of reporting antisemitic incidents within its member countries.

One of the main reasons that remain in favor of the existence of the EU, from an Israeli point of view, is that some member countries could adopt even more anti-Israeli postures if they were not bound by Common positions within the EU

In the course of the last few months various actions taken by France have shown that this argument is much worse than has been contemplated. The presidential elections are scheduled to take place in several weeks (April-May). The Presidency of the Socialist François Hollande was such a resounding failure that, for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, a current President does not even present himself for a second term. He accorded his favors to two journalists of the World [2] , giving them access to regular and private conversations, during his period in power. In the book they recently published, they summarize as “impotence” is the main feature of all Holland Presidency [3] .

Recently, Israel has even become a scapegoat even more convenient for the French authorities. In France, France organized a totally useless international conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict [4] . The organizers knew that, a few days later, President Donald Trump, whose vision was radically different from that of his predecessor, was going to be invested. France has subsequently not even obtained the adoption of final declaration of the conference at the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU, since it was blocked by the veto of Great Britain [5] . It is not foolish to suppose that the French Socialists seek only one thing by their anti-Israeli posture: to win the support of the Muslim voters, who share the same hatred of Israel.

When the new Swedish government, dominated by the Social Democrats, was installed in power in 2014, one of his very first acts was to recognize the Palestinian state does not exist [6] . He knows full well that if there were free elections among the Palestinians of Judea-Samaria / West Bank, Hamas promoter of Genocide, would almost certainly get the majority. The Swedish government has not felt the need to act in coordination with its EU partners on this issue. The Irish Foreign Minister, Charles Flanagan, said his government constantly considering recognizing a Palestinian state [7] .

In this context, the disappearance of the EU would certainly bring some benefits to Israel. If the office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was abolished, a permanent source of multilateral incitement against Israel would be wiped out.

The disappearance of the Legal Service of the European Commission would also be a positive point for Israel. He is responsible for the unilateral opinion that Judea and Samaria is an occupied territory according to international laws and that settlements are illegal. Many international legal experts dispute this position [8] .

Whether the Euro remains as it is, whether some countries leave Europe, or if it is abandoned globally, should not be of particular interest to Israel. If the EU disappears, the Common Market will probably remain unchanged. The same will apply to research collaboration and other areas of interest to Israel. There is also a shared interest in continuing to fight together terrorism, which is essentially committed by Muslims. When countries need to keep their borders, it will make them more sensitive to the problems Israel faces in its own environment.

Ultimately: there is at least a great advantage to the disappearance of the European Union. The Israeli population is considerably larger than that of 14 of the 28 member states of the EU. Six more people have a population of the same order of magnitude, and only eight have larger populations. Of Israel in bilateral relations will increase all the more if one compares the situation of the Jewish state in the current confrontation with the European Mammoth, which is made up of more than 500 million inhabitants.

By Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld chaired the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Public Affairs Center (2000-2012) for 12 years. He has published more than 20 books. Several of them deal with anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.

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