UPDATE: Israel is releasing 550 more prisoners today as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange–44 of whom are classified as “security prisoners”. By the way, one of the initial group of prisoners released in October has already been rearrested by Israeli security forces.
European arrogance was on full display again yesterday in an interview with Martin Schulz, the German Socialist who is the incoming President of the European Parliament.
When asked if he favored Israel being invited to join the European Union, Schulz replied “as long as the Netanyahu Lieberman government is in power, even those who theoretically favor Israel’s membership have no chance of persuading others to back the move.”
More than this, Schulz discussed the European Parliament’s blocking of agreements to upgrade relations between the EU and Israel. Shulz declared that the decision to block such agreements would continue: “The Parliament’s decision to block the agreements with Israel stems from the lack of progress in the peace process and from our ambition to pressure the Israeli government to alter this situation. If Israel would seriously act to get out of the dead end, the European Parliament would respond accordingly.”
Dear readers, haven’t we have all been down this dead end road before? Do you remember how the peace process completely stalled in 2008-9 when Mahmoud Abbas became convinced that the Obama Administration was going to pursue policies that would undermine the Netanyahu government? Abbas famously commented that life in “the West Bank” was not so bad–and the Palestinians could afford to wait until the Israeli government was changed.
Well guess what? The Obama Administration finally realized that it would have to deal with Netanyahu–and began to realize that the Palestinians are not really interested in peace. As for the Palestinians, they are still waiting.
And yet, the Europeans continue singing the same old song: if only the Israeli government can be ousted, then peace with the Palestinians is only a heartbeat away. Never mind that peace with the Palestinians could not be reached under the leftist Rabin, Barak, and Olmert governments–if only the right-leaning Netanyahu government can be gotten rid of, peace will magically arrive.
More than this, the absolute arrogance embodied in this European attempt to subvert the democratic process in Israel is even more breathtaking than the American attempt because of its scope. Whether it is through governmental actions directly or through governmental actions in funding European NGOs, the Europeans have been doing everything within their power to undermine the democratically elected government of PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Can you imagine the European governments attempting to undermine the democratically elected government of any other country? Or sending NGOs into another country to try to bring down a democratically elected government?
Of course this ongoing attempt to weaken Netanyahu has completely backfired.
The Netanyahu coalition is stronger than ever–with the most recent polls showing that Netanyahu’s Likud party alone would increase its number of seats from 27 to 40 if elections were held now.
It is way past time for the Europeans, like the Americans before them, to learn to live with Israeli democracy.
THIS DAY IN ISRAELI HISTORY
On December 18, 1930, the Shanghai Zionist Association sponsored a lecture “The land of Israel to-day” at No. 12 Museum Road in Shanghai. Your humble servant finds it intriguing that there was a Zionist Association in Shanghai before the arrival of the Ashkenazi Jews in Shanghai in 1933.