Our goal in Christians United for Israel is to ensure that the United States continues to support our ally, Israel. We are not a European organization, and we have never held much hope that Europe would stand up for Israel as strongly as America does.
But recent events have disappointed our already low expectations. Simply put, Europe is rapidly turning against Israel. In late October, Sweden officially recognized a Palestinian state. Since then, the parliaments of Britain, France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg have voted in support of recognizing a Palestinian state. This week, the EU voted to recognize a Palestinian state “in principle.”
There are, of course, many Israelis and friends of Israel who support the creation of a Palestinian state. But they all support the creation of such a state as the result of a peace process. The want to trade land for peace. These Israelis are willing to give up land so long as the Palestinians agree to end their conflict with Israel and give up their claim to a “right of return” for millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees. This is exactly why Israel offered to give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank and Gaza — with East Jerusalem as its capital — in 2000, 2001 and 2008.
The Palestinians turned all of these offers down. The Palestinians don’t want land for peace. They want the land without having to concede anything to Israel. And now one European nation after the other is lining up to give them exactly that. Europe is demanding that Israel withdraw from strategically vital and historically precious land in exchange for … absolutely nothing. This would be the first step in the creation of another Hamas — or even ISIS — base overlooking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. This would be a repeat of Gaza. This is not a recipe for peace; this is a recipe for disaster.
At the end of a day in which international organizations in Europe severely rebuked Israel, and the French were poised to submit a joint resolution with the Jordanians and Palestinians to the UN Security Council calling for a Palestinian state in two years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a “spirit of appeasement” is blowing through Europe.
Speaking Wednesday evening at a reception for foreign journalists, Netanyahu cited three decisions – the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg’s taking Hamas off the EU’s terrorist list, the European Parliament’s resolution backing Palestinian statehood, and the call at a meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to investigate Israel for supposed violations of that convention – as indicating Europe’s interest in appeasing the “very forces that threaten Europe itself.”
“Too many in Europe are calling on Israel to make concessions that would endanger not only the security of Israel, but also – paradoxically – the security of Europe,” he said.
“Because Israel is the forward position of European civilization.
Israel is the bulwark of European values. Israel is the pluralist, vibrant, multi-party democracy.”
Israel, he said, “is an embattled democracy in a region plagued by totalitarianism, tyranny, and Islamist terrorism.” Read more at The Jerusalem Post.
Israel called on the European Union on Wednesday to keep Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations, while Hamas praised the EU court ruling to have it removed.
The General Court of the European Union, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal, had ruled earlier on Wednesday that Hamas should be removed from the EU’s terrorist list as the decision to include it was based on media reports not considered analysis. However, the court said EU member states could maintain their freeze on Hamas’ assets for three months to give time for further review or to appeal the verdict.
Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and its founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel. It has regularly clashed with Israel, most recently during Operation Protective Edge this past July and August. Read more at Israel Hayom.
“Today we witnessed staggering examples of European hypocrisy: in Geneva they call for the investigation of Israel for war crimes, while in Luxemburg the European court removed Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations, Hamas that has committed countless war crimes and countless terror acts,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying.
Netanyahu’s war crimes comment was apparently a reference to a speech made earlier this week in the International Criminal Court by the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, who said the Palestinians intended to apply for membership in the ICC.
“It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing,” Netanyahu added. Read more at The Times of Israel.