The European Union’s relentless pressure on Israel to comply with conditions it believes would bring peace amounts to a “non-violent” campaign against the Jewish state. If in the end Israel capitulates to the EU’s terms, the peace enforced upon her would be of the kind Field Marshal Archibald Wavell predicted for post-WWI Europe. Forcing Germany to sign the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Wavell famously stated, would be a “peace to end peace.”
The latest attempt to corral Israel was the EU’s statement from January 18 reiterating that it will maintain a “full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products. The EU expresses its commitment to ensure that … all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
The statement then goes on to insist that the above “does not constitute a boycott of Israel, which the EU strongly opposes.”
In other words, though it strongly opposes efforts to boycott Israel, the EU nevertheless continues its policy of boycotting Israeli goods coming from places like the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and Barkan Industrial Park east of Petah Tikvah. This statement follows the November 2015 EU decision to brand Israeli products made in East Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, which was brushed aside as “technical” by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen.
Equally alarming is the American change in policy toward Israel that appears to be a closing of ranks with the EU. It was no accident that US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro delivered what one described as an “egregiously anti-Israel speech” on the very same day the EU issued its statement.
In words that could have been said by the Swedish Foreign Minister, Shapiro launched his version of this same kind of vitriolic rhetoric. “Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities, too much vigilantism goes unchecked,” he said, even as Palestinian kids are killing and wounding Israelis on a daily basis.
Shapiro appears to be joining the ever-growing crowd that blames Israel for Palestinian terror. If Israel would withdraw to its 1967 borders, these people believe, peace and tranquility would descend upon this troubled region.
Yet, if Israel’s withdrawal to its 1967 Gaza borders is to teach us anything, it would tell us quite clearly that these borders have no magic in them, that there is no magic wand that can be waved to erase the Palestinians’ stated purpose of conquering Israel.
Under present conditions, pressuring Israel to accept a two-state solution is a recipe for peace that will end all peace, one that a responsible Israeli government must reject.