Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Europe: Abbas’ blood libel speech before a perfidious European Parliament (Wiesenthal Center)

The title of the article by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center @ The Jerusalem Post is Brexit: So is it ‘good for the Jews? It begs another question: if most non-Jewish European citizens do not trust the EU, why should European Jews trust it? Especially when they see that Martin Schulz, the German President of the European Parliament, applauding Abbas, thanking him for his speech and tweeting afterwards that Abbas's blood libel and his calling Israel a fascist country "inspiring" and that he is a true partner for peace? 

As a shocked world reacted to England’s unexpected exit from the European Union, Palestinian President Abbas delivered a speech to the European Parliament.

Abbas, now in the 11th year of his four-year term, accused Israel of becoming a fascist country. Then he updated a vicious medieval anti-Semitic canard by charging that (non-existent) rabbis are urging Jews to poison the Palestinian water supply.

The response by representatives of the 28 European nations whose own histories are littered with the terrible consequences of such anti-Semitic blood libels? A thunderous 30-second standing ovation.

So forgive us if while everyone else analyzes the economic impact of the UK exit, and pundits parse the generational and social divide of British voters, we dare to ask a parochial question: is a weakened EU good or bad for the Jews? [...]

For Israel, the EU’s global dilemma is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it could, at least temporarily, derail the EU’s intense pressuring of Israel to accept – even sans direct negotiations with the Palestinians – a one-sided French peace initiative, imposing indefensible borders on the Jewish state.

But the scope of the current crisis is also very much the result of the internal moral and political failure of the EU’s own transnational elites and political leadership to confront its homegrown problems. These problems have also impacted on many of Europe’s 1.4 million Jews.

We began with President Abbas’ morning-after-Brexit blood libel speech before a perfidious European Parliament. His libel and the applause it received still reverberate despite Abbas’ subsequent retraction. 

For the episode highlights the lack of moral accountability infecting EU elites ensconced in the ivory towers of Brussels’ bureaucratic headquarters. We can only hope and pray that European captains of industry, politicians, media and NGOs take the UK vote as a wake-up call for them all. For if they fail to actually address the economic and social crises with real solutions, it won’t only be the Jews of Europe who will be searching for the nearest exit.
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