EU har misslyckats på alla sätt, säkerhetsmässigt och politiskt, men attackerar Israel frenetiskt samtidigt. Hur orkar de.
Op-ed: As the EU buckles under the pressure of existential crises, the only unifying issue is the obsessive need to pressure Israel into accepting compromises and agreements which could jeopardize its existence.
Published: 11.25.15, 08:15 / Israel Opinion
BERLIN – The obsessive welcome the European Union’s bureaucratic establishment has given the settlement product labeling issue in the past few years is very concerning.
At a time when the EU is buckling under the pressure of existential crises – the terror threats, the euro crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the Greece crisis, the refugee and illegal migrant crisis, the undermined democracy crisis – the only issue which succeeds in creating almost complete unity is the obsessive need to pressure Israel and make it accept compromises and agreements which could jeopardize its existence. It’s like they are saying: If Europe is sinking, let’s make sure Israel drowns before us.
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The EU, which began as an industrial, economic and commercial alliance, has been trying to turn into a world power in the past two decades . For this purpose, it established a Pan-European foreign ministry, which controls many human and financial resources. The declared goal was and still is to reshape Europe’s immediate surroundings and encourage the neighbors of “the old continent” to adopt the EU’s values: Democracy, liberalism, peace and comradeship among nations.
As the EU’s foreign policy deteriorates, there is a growth in the obsessive urge in Brussels to punish Israel (Photo: AFP)
But this neocolonial European approach has gone completely bankrupt: The Mediterranean dialogue with the North African and Middle Eastern countries never took off, and crashed while still on the runway. Moscow succeeded in thwarting any attempt to expand the EU borders in its direction. Brussels’ “good neighborliness” policy now resembles the “zero problems with neighbors” policy, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to lead. In other words, a miserable failure.
This failure stems not only from the fact that Europe’s neighbors are unwilling to receive any dictations from Brussels, but also from internal tensions within the EU which are preventing the formation of a unified foreign policy and even an agreement on a shared list of values. The main dispute is over whether Europe is essentially a Christian club or a religious-cultural melting pot seeking to turn into a migration continent.
The supporters of the migration multiculturalism see the EU as a successful formula for overcoming tribalism, nationalism and borders, but reality is hitting them in the face: The more the bureaucratic establishment in Brussels tries to force Europe’s nations to let go of their national identity, they are turning their back on it and becoming even more nationalist.
And as the EU’s foreign policy deteriorates, there is a growth in the obsessive urge in Brussels to punish Israel – the EU’s only neighbor, which is interested in good and balanced relations with Europe and which can contribute a lot to the EU in different areas. Hatred of Israel allows the EU’s bureaucratic establishment to present some sort of productivity.
Admittedly, this approach is also being fed by Israeli elements who received funding from the EU and are trying to use it to create a political situation in Israel which matches their desires and ideas.
Some Israeli academics and politicians who pushed the EU to use Israel as a “test case” for the formation of a unified foreign policy. The basic conditions in Israel – the existence of an active and open civil society and the failure to restrict external involvement in the internal politics – have given the EU a golden opportunity to implement this “test case.”
Through the funneling of a significant amount of funds to different bodies and initiatives in Israel, the EU has created a situation of economic dependence, which now allows to try to impose political solutions on Israel which Israel doesn’t approve of. Too many Israeli governments have contributed to this situation, out of neglect or premeditatedly, but Israel can decide not to go down together with Europe.