(May 25, 2018 / JNS) For years now, the European Union has been funding activities that are detrimental to Israel’s interests and that cast doubt on its right to exist. The apparent paradox between the E.U.’s commitment to Israel’s existence, security and welfare with its actual policies, which include the generous funding of the most virulent opponents of Israel’s existence both within and outside Israel, is due to the compromising and pacifist policies of past Israeli governments. Those governments shut their eyes to the notoriously subversive activity of the E.U., which undermines the foundation of Israel’s existence.
Those past Israeli governments sought, for obvious reasons, to tie Israel’s economy to that of Europe. Israel has much to offer in many fields, and the Europeans have a lot of money. Geographical proximity to the continent makes Europe Israel’s main trade partner. While Israel enjoys access to various major E.U. programs, this relationship, which contributed to Israel’s transformation into a stable and leading economy, came at a heavy price: The Europeans conditioned this cooperation on their involvement in Israel’s internal affairs and a significant role in the promotion of a “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians.
In retrospect, this role was meant from the outset to allow Europe to defend Palestinian interests, at the expense of Israel’s.
This is not just about unlimited and unconditional assistance to the Palestinians in their struggle to “liberate” Judea and Samaria and, in the past, the Gaza Strip from “Israeli occupation.” For a while now, the E.U. has acted on several fronts to directly undermine Israel’s interests and has grossly interfered in its internal affairs. Its funds have allowed the Palestinian Authority and the U.N. refugee agency education systems to propagate anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement for years.
According to a new report from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs—and many past reports from serious non-governmental organizations like NGO Monitor—the E.U. and its member counties help fund organizations that aim to delegitimize and bring an end to the State of Israel in a variety of ways. As part of its campaign of delegitimization, the E.U. encourages the financing of bodies that seek to eradicate the Jewish character of Israel and transform it from an “apartheid state” to a state of all its citizens. This is not about bringing change to the status of the “occupied territories,” but rather, a fundamental change to the State of Israel.
The E.U. also supports groups and organizations that oppose the current government’s policies, in an effort to influence internal Israeli politics.
The Europeans directly fund and indirectly finance these efforts through the funding of governments of E.U.-member states and institutions or funds that enjoy the financing of those governments, like private funds, cultural centers, movie funds and many others. Such is Europe’s involvement in the campaign to sully and impose a reality on Israel that is incompatible with its Jewish identity.
And yet, all this could not have happened had successive Israeli governments not allowed the phenomenon to develop and intensify.
Israel is not a European colony, and certainly has no interest in joining the European Union in its present state. If the E.U. is interested in good ties with Israel—and there are many reasons and motives for this to be the case—it must immediately cease its subversive efforts to impose on Israel arrangements and solutions that are neither to its advantage nor its benefit.
As a sovereign state, Israel must both demand this and make every effort to prevent it from happening.
Eldad Beck is an Israeli journalist and author.