This headline probably sounds counter-intuitive but if you read the following article you will understand. It is written by Bassam Tawil in the Gatestone Institute, a clear-eyed Arab thinker if ever there was one, and he avers that the Palestinians’ real enemy is Europe. His views should give do-gooder Europeans a serious pause for thought:
As Palestinians discuss among themselves — far from the diplomats in their five-star hotels — rather than accept this “gift” that Europe seems determined to push down our throats, many people increasingly see no choice but to launch a “Palestinian Spring” revolution. It would not be, as you might think, to rid them of Israel but finally to rid us of our wretched leadership and corrupt system of government — and to stop the European counties that are imposing this brutal system on us by financing it.
We have been fortunate enough to see from Israel how a democracy works. So although a Palestinian Spring revolution might cause chaos in the region and elsewhere for a while, its chances of success are far more assured than in the other places in the Middle East, where it has been tried but has not always succeeded.
We do not want to do this, of course, but if we are forced by Europe to have this corrupt dictatorship called Palestine, terrorist groups such as Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and ISIS will flood the West Bank in less than week, and our lives will be even worse than what we have now. We simply do not know what else to do to defend ourselves from these “Goodists” of Europe.
… the European diplomats do not talk to us, the man on the street, the frustrated rest of us. They only talk to each other, their “counterparts,” as they call them, in their air-conditioned meeting rooms and hotels.
What we talk about is how the Europeans and their diplomats are paying our leaders to kill the Jews for them — with their money but with our lives — so that they can finish the job without getting their hands dirty and still keep on feeling good about themselves.
The Europeans put their own people on trial for “hate speech” when they have said nothing but the truth; and yet they pour millions into non-stop propaganda and bloodthirsty hate-speech on our government-controlled TV — the only kind we have here. They fund any baseless sewage our leaders can think up.
The usual claim is “occupation,” but the Israelis are only “occupying” the West Bank because we — in the form of Jordan — occupied land promised to them, and then repeatedly attacked them.
A more recent claim is “settlements,” but the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] was formed in 1964, before there were any “settlements,” so what exactly was it planning to “liberate”? If you look at any Palestinian map to this day, it encompasses the entire country of Israel.
What is becoming more and more clear is that just about everything going wrong here can be laid at the feet of Europe, at the feet of the leaders there who fund and cheer on the corruption and lawlessness which they would not tolerate in their own countries for a minute, but which they expect us to.
There never has been a Palestinian state. Ever. The West Bank was Jordanian, the Golan Heights were Syrian and the Gaza Strip was Egyptian.
f I were Israeli, I would understand that when Mahmoud Abbas says he wants a safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as full control of air and sea lanes, he means he wants to receive arms from Iran without interference.
So, are we actually accusing the Jews of “genocide” while it is we who are striving kill all of them and drive them “into the sea”? Are the Europeans actually buying this nonsense? We all ask ourselves: If Europeans like to feel so righteous about themselves, then why are they acting as the accomplices and accessories to criminals? Does that not make them criminals, too?
Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas continue to promote violence. The government-controlled PA TV calls for attacking Israelis, and daily honors terrorists and calls for funds to be given to their families.
Much of these funds are supplied by the European Union, with no transparency or accountability despite years of efforts to have the amounts of this funding made public, as is required by law in the EU’s own mandate. Therefore, we have no choice but sadly to conclude that the EU is just as cynical and corrupt as the sclerotic dictatorship to which it is trying to consign us.
And here comes the “money quote”:
If European leaders really cared about us, instead of sending money to us to help rid them of the Jews, they would help us find a better leadership –– a leadership that would care about the daily lives and well-being of its people instead of just taking more and more free money from Europe. It is now a big business for the Palestinian leaders, and comes with no conditions; why should they stop? Even now, after the crushing defeat of Hamas, no one in Europe has even suggested that Hamas should be disarmed and the Gaza Strip demilitarized as a condition before funding its rebuilding.
Do European leaders honestly think we will have better lives in a “Palestinian State”? At least now we do not have Hamas occupying more land and exchanging the abuses we suffer now for religious fanatics’ abuses that would be even worse.
If we are going to be honest with ourselves, as we here can see here every day on the ground, Israel has never called for the destruction of the Palestinians; and research strongly suggests that they have never tried to “destroy the Palestinians” or any other ethnic group — not Christians, Muslims, Kurds, Yazidis or Copts.
Israel is tough, yes, but has largely been fair — more than one can say for other countries in the region. Israel, so long as it is not provoked, has been a remarkably decent neighbor. Not everything is perfect by far — there are problems and have been unspeakably savage revenge attacks by a few Israelis here and there. But those have always been exceptions, and have always been severely condemned and punished by the Israelis, not celebrated and glorified, as with the Palestinian leadership.
It is to this Palestinian leadership whom these European leaders would like to abandon us: a government that not one of them would want to live under for a day.
ISIS operatives are already in the Sinai Peninsula, planning how to take over Egypt, and with their eyes set on Libya.
Is this really what the Europeans want?
Apparently it is. It is my opinion that the Europeans hate Israel as much as the Arabs in general, perhaps even more. And if it requires Palestinian blood to defeat those pesky Jews, why, the Europeans have no scruples in enabling such bloodshed – and then blaming it on Israel.
This article is astounding for its frankness and for its disdain towards the Palestinian leadership. I wonder how many Palestinians really support such views and are simply too afraid for their lives to admit it. I’m guessing we would be pleasantly surprised, but sadly I think we’ll never know.
Bassam Tawil’s assertion is well-founded given the example of European funding for the virulently anti-Israel Israeli NGO Zochrot. (Yes, it is an Israeli NGO. No, that was not a typo. It is anti-Israel despite being Israeli). Prof. Gerald Steinberg thoroughly details Zochrot and its funding:
In May 2014, Zochrot—a radical Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO)—was the focus of widespread mainstream media coverage featuring its iNakba mobile application (app). Articles on the app and Zochrot were published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Haaretz, The Christian Science Monitor, Time Magazine, and several prominent blogs. Most, including The New York Times, promoted Zochrot’s agenda while others, such as The Washington Post, included some criticism.
Designed and promoted as a vehicle for drawing attention—particularly among journalists—to the Palestinian narrative of the 1948 war, iNakba features an interactive map and photos of pre-1948 Arab villages and encourages the “right of return” narrative through crowd sourcing. As stated by The New York Times, “Perhaps the app’s greatest promise is its social component—users can upload photos and videos, or ‘follow’ villages to virtually recreate lost communities.” Small wonder that the release of the app was timed to coincide with Israel’s sixty-sixth Independence Day (May 15) and the Nakba (catastrophe) as Palestinians and Arabs call this event.
While Zochrot has promoted this inverted narrative of “historic injustice” for many years, its sudden transformation from a fringe political NGO into a major media attraction was made possible by a steep increase in funding from European governments, often channeled through Christian international development and humanitarian aid organizations without any public scrutiny or parliamentary control. This funding grew from some 950,000 NIS (Israeli new shekels) in 2005 to 1,868,485 NIS (more than $500,000) in 2013. Such funding is far from unique and can be viewed as a showcase for a wider phenomenon: the central role of European governments and Christian aid organizations in promoting a radical, anti-Israel agenda.
Zochrot was founded in 2002 with the aims of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and promoting the recognition and realization of the “right of return” of Palestinian “refugees” to places that are now part of the state of Israel. Needless to say, this supposed right is irreconcilable with any peace process based on the two-state solution, officially endorsed by many governments, and is “tantamount to destroying Israel through demographic subversion” (to use historian Efraim Karsh’s words),…
Zochrot declares support for a “de-Zionized Palestine” and refers to Israel as having an “ethnicized and racialized Zionist” system. The NGO’s founder Eitan Bronstein has stated, “When the refugees return, Jews will become a minority in the country. Israel as a Jewish state will change radically, and it will no longer be defined as such.”.
Prof. Steinberg goes on to detail the funding that Zochrot benefits from, and the very wide media coverage it receives, including its misrepresentation as “mainstream Israeli” when of course nothing could be further from the truth. He continues with more bad news:
Zochrot is hardly the only such NGO: European and church-based funding is distributed to hundreds of other politicized NGOs. These include The Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), a leader of BDS campaigns through its website “Who Profits”; al-Haq, a Palestinian group that leads lawfare attempts; and Breaking the Silence, an organization of former Israel Defense Forces soldiers, who tour university campuses and parliaments in Europe and North America, publicizing unsubstantiated testimonies, which fuel campaigns against Israel based on false war crime allegations.
Like Zochrot, these other NGOs are funded directly by governments and indirectly through many of the same humanitarian relief foundations (again, many of them Christian) such as Diakonia (Sweden), Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO, the Netherlands), Christian Aid (U.K.), Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst, EED, Germany), Trocaire (Ireland), Comité catholique contre la faim et pour le développement, CCFD, France), and various churches. All participate in the delegitimization of Israel through tactics such as BDS, supporting the one state solution, lawfare (such as the Goldstone fact-finding report or filing politically motivated reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council), and referring to Israel as an apartheid system or occupier. These NGOs, similarly to Zochrot, have risen to prominence through an abundance of foreign government funding.
The end result of all this European meddling in the conflict is the continuation of the conflict:
NGOs are important players in international politics and within the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. In this case, Zochrot’s ability to promote its agenda through the media and other venues is dependent on the funding it receives from foreign governments. This, coupled with unprofessional media reporting, promotes the group’s propaganda and fuels the conflict.
As we have witnessed over the last few weeks, European interference in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not been limited to NGOs. Several European countries recognized, or recommended the recognition of, a Palestinian State. Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed European governments, accusing them of recreating antisemitic lies:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman launched a bitter attack against European and Palestinian leaders Sunday, saying Ramallah’s unilateral moves toward statehood proved the death of the Oslo Accords and accusing European parliaments of recreating anti-Semitic lies.
Speaking at a conference of Israel’s European ambassadors, Liberman denounced the attitudes of European lawmakers as comparable to a century-old anti-Semitic hoax.
“The lies told during debates in the European parliaments are reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Liberman said, referencing the document that claims a Jewish plan for world domination, which has been used as a canard for anti-Jewish attacks.
Liberman singled out Sweden and Ireland, both of which recently passed parliamentary votes calling for recognition of a Palestinian state, and likened their actions to the 1938 Munich agreement in which Britain and France ceded control of the Sudetenland region to Germany in an appeasement that ultimately failed to prevent World War II.
“The behavior of Sweden and Ireland toward us is comparable with that which led to the breakup of Czechoslovakia,” he said.
Lashing out at the Palestinians over their bids to impose terms on Israel at the United Nations Security Council and to pursue war crimes allegations by joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Liberman said this proved the Oslo Accords had “failed.”
He also called for Israel to take the initiative in launching a peace process, instead of reacting to Palestinian moves.
Liberman went on to stress the importance of regaining alliances in Europe.
“Our big challenge is not the Palestinians and not the Arab countries, but the countries of the West,” he said.
On that last statement Liberman is probably right, but looking at the anti-Israel bias inherent in the European polity, I think we face an uphill battle. However, it is a fight we must win if we are to defeat Palestinian terrorism and achieve a measure of safety and quiet, if not a real peace in our country.