By Melanie Phillips—-
Has the European Union reached a tipping point over Israel? Or to be more precise, is the Europeans’ bluff finally to be called over Israel’s proposal to extend its sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria?
The E.U. has been mulling over punitive measures against Israel if it goes ahead with what its western critics call “annexation of the occupied territories of the West Bank.”
A number of member states, headed by France along with Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg are calling for a hard line.
Measures being considered include supporting any U.N. moves against “annexation”; public support of proceedings against Israel currently underway in the International Criminal Court at The Hague; and increasing the boycott of settlements in various ways, along with increased financial support for the Palestinians.
The E.U. and Britain maintain that Israel is illegally occupying the disputed territories, and that its settlements there amount to a transfer of population into those lands in contravention of the Geneva Convention.
This is a serious misreading of international law. Israel is not “occupying” these territories. In law, occupation can only occur if the land belongs to a sovereign power, which was never the case here; and a state can also hold onto land which continues to be used for belligerent purposes against it.
It is also a gross misreading of the Geneva Convention, as the Israelis living in these territories were not transferred but moved there entirely of their own volition.
The animus against Israel by both the E.U. and Britain is of long standing. Let’s rephrase that: the animus against Israel by the European and British political class and intelligentsia is of long standing.
For although the E.U. and Britain condemn Israel for “illegal occupation,” fail to defend it against the malice of the United Nations and endorse the meretricious rulings against it at the European Court of Justice, they are nevertheless trading with Israel at ever-increasing levels as well as depending heavily upon it for crucial military and intelligence support.
So while defaming Israel in the court of world opinion, they have been simultaneously milking its genius for their own benefit. They want to hurt it — but not enough to hurt themselves.
Their hostility is the product of three factors: historic and ineradicable anti-Jewish prejudice; the pathological inability to deal with collective guilt over the Holocaust; and the perception that their interests have for decades lain with the Arab world. Continue Reading….