The headlines this week reeked of déjà vu, reminiscent of previous confrontations and intifadas, as conditions on the ground in Gaza are becoming more and more similar to those that preceded the 2014 war.19:05 05.02.16 | 4 comments
It's far too late to think of "Europe" as Israel's friend. Not because of any inherent anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism, but because of the expanding value chasm between countries as Israel and the U.S. contra European opinions and opinion leaders. To try to sum up the dominant gut feeling of Europeans: THAT path we've tried too many times already, it only led to severe losses and sufferings for ordinary people. How come the Israelis want to make our ancestors' mistakes yet ones again? There was a lot of good will for Israel, initially, that lasted for decades. But the events after 1973 have seriously weakened the relations — a process that certainly has gone in both directions, and consequently been somewhat self-amplifying. There is a strong moral dimension to this. Even if Europeans in general don't think of past atrocities as something they themselves feel responsible for, they (we) feel their ancestors or their nations certainly were. Wars, suppression, exploiting dominance and worse atrocities against other nations or civilians of other ethnicity, religion or "race" is consequently considered an ultimate evil, that Israel helplessly seems hooked up on. This is a much stronger cause of disconcord between Israelis and European than anti-Semitism and Jewish collective memory of discrimination. Israel is now stuck with its special relationship with the U.S. There is no hope to change this, unless both Israel and the U.S. were to experience disastrous defeats that would lead to a revolutionary change of thinking in the respective populations. ...and we do not need to spell out how great a risk such a defeat would be, do we?, for Israel and all its citizens, as well as for the Muslim and Christian civilians living in borderlands more or less under Israeli domination.