Friday, March 08, 2013

8-Mar-13: Two puzzling aspects of European government policies: what they do, and what they don't do

EU envoy Reinicke speaking to Palestinian social scientists
June 2012 [Image Source]
Israel's frustration with European tolerance for racist hatred, for the overt and covert funding of terrorism by European governments, and by European indifference about the European activities of Hezbollah's murderers and their supporters has been growing for at least the past decade.

In today's Jerusalem Post, an article by Herb Keinon makes the argument. Some excerpts:
  • An unnamed Israeli official is quoted: "When it comes to Israel they are very vocal,” the official said. When it comes to the Palestinians, they are very timid... While the EU talks continually about labeling products from the settlements, or issues statements about Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, or files demarches over all construction beyond the Green Line, it is unable to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization and was slow and mealy-mouthed in condemning Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity.
  • The official said that Israel’s concern with moves such as labeling is not that they will necessarily have a tremendous economic impact – he said Israel’s trade with Britain actually increased since London recommended labeling settlement products – but that it could lead to other economic sanctions, such as calls for divestment from pension funds that invest in Israeli firms with business interests beyond the Green Line.
  • Brussels’ one-sided tilt, the official said, was reflected last week when the annual report of EU consuls-general in Jerusalem and Ramallah – a report that year after year slams Israeli polices – was leaked to the press.... “Every year they put out a report that is critical of Israel, even though their mandate is to strengthen ties with the PA. They never issue a report on problems inside the PA – the misuse of funds, human rights abuses there. Only on Israel.” Further, the official added, the reports are written without any Israeli input.” The net result, he said, was that there is “no positive agenda between Israel and Brussels, only negative. There are only sticks, no carrots.”
Andreas Reinicke, the EU’s special representative to the Middle East Peace Process (and the then-serving ambassador of Germany to Syria when he was appointed last year), disagrees. He says there are positive aspects of the EU-Israel relationship and they are being overlooked. He mentions some legitimate examples and then offers this:
The EU contributes to Israel’s security, through UNIFIL, the Iran talks, UNRWA, and by the training of the Palestinian police force. And that is to say nothing of bilateral military cooperation between Israel and various EU states. “Sometimes people don’t want to see this, only the other side,” he said.
It's an odd list of examples. In case someone on his staff happens to see this post, we wish they would pass a note to Mr Reinicke suggesting he glances at some of the following. They are all items that we have posted here in the recent past: 
And here is Mr Reinicke's constructive response to the Post's question why, despite overwhelming evidence of the terrorist nature of Hezbollah's activities in Europe, the EU declines to outlaw them as terrorists:
Reinicke was noncommittal regarding the placing of Hezbollah on the EU terror list, saying only that there were “different views” on the matter inside the EU, and that the discussion was ongoing.
So that should clear it up.

Given the title he bears and our experience of terrorism, Mr Reinicke is probably interested to know our opinions. We shared some our thoughts on Europe's no-policy policy in several recent posts including "29-Jan-13: What their view on Hezbollah tells us about Europe's counter-terrorism strategy".

Bottom line: Europe's strategy of containing Islamist terrorist by means of kindness, understanding and sitting on the European politicians' collective hands is bankrupt, deadly dangerous, lacking in courage and ultimately immoral.

No comments: