Monday, March 2, 2020

Europe: The EU has been greatly negligent in fighting antisemitism

Manfred Gerstenfeld via The Jerusalem Post:
Substantial skills in verbal acrobatics are required from the European Union ambassador to Israel. He has to justify unjustifiable behavior of the organization he represents. One aspect of that is to know how to express facts selectively when publishing articles.

The current ambassador is the Italian diplomat Emanuele Giaufret. In April 2019, Giaufret wrote an article in The Jerusalem Post titled “A brief history of EU-Israel Relations.” In the piece, he analyzed the depths of the historic, political, economic social and cultural connections between Israel and the EU. He mentioned that these are often overlooked in the discourse. Giaufret added, “Our common future is also sometimes disregarded even as Israel and the EU continue moving toward each other.”

In his description of the depth of historic connections, a very specific background issue was missing: for more than 1,000 year, antisemitism has been part of European culture. That, in particular, should have been mentioned because the EU has been so greatly negligent in fighting it. Almost 20 years since the current huge increase in antisemitism began, no uniform statistical data on antisemitic incidents in member countries are available.

Concerning political connections between Israel and the EU, Giaufret did not mention that member countries have frequently voted against Israel in the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. No similar votes exist against any other country in anywhere near such numbers. According to the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), that makes these votes antisemitic acts. The many European countries on that organization’s board supported the establishment of this definition. […]  
Recently, Giaufret got a new boss. Former socialist Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell was appointed high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy. His party rules Spain in a coalition with Europe’s most extreme Israel-hating party, Podemos. In 2018, its leader, Pablo Iglesias Turrión – now Spain’s second deputy prime minister – called Israel an illegal country.

Borrell said in an interview, “Iran wants to wipe out Israel. Nothing new about that. You have to live with it.” To understand how barbarian this is, one should imagine a Western politician in the late 1930s saying, “The Germans mistreat and heavily discriminate against the Jews. We have to live with it.”

At that time, German policy was not yet aiming for genocide of the Jews. Borrell’s statement is thus far worse in view of Iran’s intention to destroy Israel.

With such a new boss, an extreme anti-Israel inciter, Ambassador Giaufret will have to greatly upgrade his verbal acrobatics.
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