Israel’s largest trading partner, the European Union, is about to implement a process of labeling goods produced in both the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
There is something terribly unseemly about Europeans labeling Jewish products, but then when Sweden commemorates Kristallnacht, while asking Jews not to attend let alone participate, it would appear that sensitivity to Jewish suffering and feelings is not high on the European agenda, not that it ever has been.
Chinese products made in Tibet, which China obliterated from the map, will not be labeled. Russian products from the newly conquered Crimea will not be labeled. Neither will products from any of a dozen areas in the world that are in territorial dispute. Only products made by Jews.
The whole business reeks of anti-Semitism.
So, what ostensibly motivates the Europeans to implement this malevolent policy?
The basis for the European Union’s appetite for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement is two-fold. First, one must understand that the Europeans treat the Palestinian Authority as if it were a state. Second, the EU has arrogantly decided to draw the boundaries of Palestine just as Europe once drew the boundaries of Africa and the Middle East.
We all know how that worked out.
This exercise in geographic apportionment runs counter to the Oslo accords that the Europeans encouraged Israel to sign. Boundaries were to be negotiated between the two parties. But never mind — Europeans have a new agenda. What difference does it make that Israel gave vast portions of the West Bank over to Yasser Arafat and his thugs who otherwise were impotently sitting in Tunisia?
The Europeans are using the labeling to draw boundaries. The areas being labeled will become Palestine, and the Golan will go back to Syria.
But Syria is in collapse. Do the Europeans really believe that Israel is going to give up the strategic Golan Heights to Bashir Assad or possibly to the Islamic State?
The Europeans don’t bother with such incidentals. Israel simply needs to give up the Golan just as she needs to give up all of the West Bank east of the Green Line, which, of course, is not a boundary but an armistice line.
Castrated by Russia in Ukraine, Georgia, and Crimea, Europe is strutting itself as a force still to be reckoned with by bullying Israel and venting its natural inclination toward anti-Semitism.
Of course, the people who will suffer most from the European policy are the Palestinians who are employed by Israeli companies in the West Bank and who are paid regular and much higher Israeli wages and receive Israeli benefits. This money goes directly into the Palestinian economy, serving as an example of prosperous coexistence.
If the Europeans were truly concerned about Palestinian statehood, they would acknowledge that the Palestinians do not have the political or economic infrastructure for statehood. These wages would work toward building that. Statehood can only come from the bottom up, not from the top down, as the Europeans see it through a new prism of arrogance crafted out of the old mindset of white man’s burden.
This labeling compels Israeli companies like Soda Stream to simply move across the Green Line and to discharge their Arab employees, who because of security concerns can no longer easily get to work. This plays right into the hands of Israel’s ultra-right that wants those jobs going to Israelis.
Labeling spreads like a virus. Consumers have neither the time nor the inclination to distinguish the West Bank from Israel, and the contagion will spread to all Israeli products, which is really what the Europeans want.
BDS thug squads will attack stores, as they frequently have even in America, that carry products from the West Bank; and corporate executives, who naturally seek profits and not trouble, will simply refrain from stocking any Israeli products.
Anyone who believes the Europeans are not aware of the ultimate consequences of these policies is patently naïve.
To understand the European labeling, it is vital to remember that Europeans once enthusiastically labeled Jews for extermination. Germany had a lot of help in the destruction of European Jewry, with the French loading Jews onto trains in greater numbers than the Nazis requested.
The “neutral” Swiss plundered Jewish assets belonging to survivors, and the British made sure that Jews went to Auschwitz rather than Palestine.
The norms of civility prevent Europe from exterminating Jews, but it is attempting the next best thing, destroying the Jewish state.
The Europeans might wish to reflect that while those nations that have attempted to destroy the Jews have caused them great and unfathomable harm, the Jews ultimately continue to survive, but the nations themselves end up in the dustbin of history.