A show of morality
It appears that not even one of the EU's three Security Council members - Germany, France and Britain - will support the Palestinian initiative there.
We won't grovel, we won't fawn and, of course, we won't apologize. Yes, we will humiliate, put down, rebuke and censure. After the low chair for the Turks and the hazing of Barack Obama in Congress, now it's time to wag a finger at the five largest countries of Europe.
According to a report by Barak Ravid in Haaretz, the ambassadors of the five countries - Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain - were summoned last week to the Foreign Ministry, where they were scolded for their attempt to formulate a unified European position on Palestinian statehood in keeping with the "Vatican state" formula. "We simply expect you to vote against every proposal at the UN," they were told.
Until Monday, they were just incompetent, anti-Semitic Arab-lovers, enchained by their colonialist feelings of guilt. But now, the entire world is against us, all the way from our Middle Eastern neighborhood to America, and from Africa to Asia. Who would have believed it, but Europe is all we have left. It has become the key player.
To the Jewish mind, there was no alternative. It would have to invent some new tricks: The hated continent turned in the blink of an eye to one of the highest "quality." Its hypocrisy was transformed into "a moral majority." Obama saved us from the thugs in Cairo? Europe will save us from the rioters in the West Bank. Europe has been crowned the "moral continent," and it must act accordingly. It appears that not even one of its three members of the Security Council - Germany, France and Britain - will support the Palestinian initiative there. Israel was left with no choice but to work on their vote in the General Assembly, where the situation is more complex:
Germany's abstention in the UN vote on military intervention in Libya seriously damaged Chancellor Angela Merkel's prestige. She was attacked from every direction for "turning her back on half a century of foreign policy solidarity," and "the undermining of EU unity and its alliance with the United States." Merkel certainly doesn't want to get out of line again. At the same time, however, if it has to choose between emphasizing the "special relationship" with the Jewish state and maintaining European unity, the chancellor will answer the command of history.
In Italy this week, the media revealed that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is not excited by Merkel's posterior. We also discovered that the Italian premier had previously complained that meetings scheduled with the pope and with former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown interfered with his bunga bunga parties. His colleagues in the European Union treat him like an unpredictable clown. Nonetheless, as far as Israel is concerned, his solidarity is consistent and total. Despite their mutual disgust, when it comes to Israel, Berlusconi and Merkel march hand in hand.
France's "most Zionist president in the history of the Fifth Republic" has declared on several occasions that if the peace process did not advance by September, "France will take responsibility with regard to recognition of the Palestinian state." Some 82 percent of the French support such a state and 69 percent support the Palestinian initiative at the UN. Nicolas Sarkozy may also be influenced, it seems, by his victory in Libya and his aspiration to continue to play the role of a liberator of oppressed nations.
Spain was the clearest about its intentions to support the Palestinian initiative. The Spanish have a historical relationship with the Palestinians. They established relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization before they had them with Israel. The Middle Eastern conflict is part of their agenda. In November, Spain will hold national elections. Consideration of public opinion will therefore win out over consideration of European solidarity.
Great Britain - between Germany and Italy, and France and Spain - has the murkiest position of them all. Some say that it is stormy behind the scenes in London. The British themselves say that the source of their ambivalence is found in their desire to keep all their options open. On Judgment Day, they will vote in favor of the Palestinians, a diplomatic source in Jerusalem mocks: "Their guilt feelings over the Balfour Declaration will prove to be the determining factor."
By approving the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU's constitutional document, Europe sought to prove that it was on the map. Obama's paralysis leaves it at center stage at the UN. This is its hour of truth. Israel is asking for a display of morality? So are the Palestinians.