Saturday 17 May 2014

European Union, you stand accused of funding terrorism and subversion. How do you plead?

Recently, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was arrested and detained for a few days in connection with a murder allegedly committed by the IRA 42 years ago.  We have no reason to believe Mr. Adams was involved in that murder; at the time this is written, he has been released and we are not aware of the current status of that investigation.  But there is absolutely no doubt that, were he found to have been involved, Mr. Adams would have been thrown in jail, perhaps never to emerge again.  The fact that the murder was politically-motivated, that it was committed a long time ago, prior to the Good Friday Agreement, etc. – all that is and should be of no consequence to the implacable course of justice.  To a civilised nation, a murder is a murder is a murder, irrespective of what ‘political cause’ had, in the eyes of the murderers, ‘motivated’ it.

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, beg to differ from such expression of civilisation and rule of law: for them, the deliberate murder of uninvolved civilians is not only justified, but indeed ‘heroic’, provided that the uninvolved civilians are Israeli Jews; all the more so, if the murder had occurred before the signing of the Oslo Agreements (i.e. the moment when Arafat was forced to – in theory – renounce the path of terrorism and commit to a negotiated solution).

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas smiles in the company
of Amna Muna, the terrorist who lured 16-years-old
Ofir Rahum to his death in 2001
The Palestinian Authority maintains a list of terrorists, including those who ‘proudly’ admitted murdering defenceless people in cold blood, for the ‘crime’ of being Jewish.  Not only does the PA demand the release of those murderers; not only are they celebrated as ‘heroes’ when that release occurs; in the meantime, the interim Palestinian ‘government’ pays each of these murderers a handsome salary, commensurate with the severity of their crime.  All the while, various ‘Palestinian-supporters’ in the West publicly wring their hands, deploring the poverty of rank-and-file Palestinians – those who, having chosen not to murder Israelis, are not entitled to government pay-outs.

To somehow alleviate that poverty and enable the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership to function, the European Union (and also many Europeans governments, including that of United Kingdom) donate considerable amounts of taxpayer money to the PA.  In fact, the European Union (not oil-rich Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates or Qatar) is the PA’s largest donor.  Ostensibly, European funds are not used to pay the salaries of jailed terrorists, but those of Palestinian civil servants; for instance, the Gazan teachers who, having been sacked by Hamas following its takeover of the Strip, are now being paid by the PA (with EU funds) to… not teach.  But the issue is much more serious than just wasting European taxpayers’ hard-earned money.  In fact, the fact that those funds cover civil servants’ salaries allows the PA to free-up other funds to pay the jailed terrorists.

Funding terrorism is illegal; paying for teachers’ salaries isn’t.  But the effect is the same – in practice Europe’s ‘generous donation’ contributes to rewarding and incentivising terror.

And that’s not the only way in which European politicians misuse our money.  Both the EU and several European governments also fund extremist organisations in Israel.  Let’s examine, for instance, the case of the so-called Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).  This organisation cites among its donors the EU Commission and the Government of Spain.

Ostensibly, ICAHD’s focus is on opposing the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli authorities.  But that’s just a cover-up designed for superficial donors, whose only due diligence is reading the organisation’s title.  In reality, opposing house demolitions is a tiny, inconsequential detail in the organisation’s grand schemes; what ICAHD really militates for is the dismantling of the State of Israel.

And it’s not that ICAHD makes any secret of that intention.  On the contrary, it declares on its official website – in English, through the writings of its founder Jeff Halper (an old-style Marxist combining Fidel Castro looks with Stalin-like strategies) – its support for a “Bi-National State in Palestine/Israel”.  The solution to the entire problem is, in Jeff Halper’s mind, one state that would be
“structured as merely a weak administrative unit instead of the repository of national identity”.
Such state, perhaps called ‘Canaan’,
“would be a federal one, a ‘grand coalition’ of the two peoples in which, through proportional elections, decisions affecting the entire population would enjoy across-the-board support.”
No, it's not Fidel Castro; it's Jeff Halper.
The EU uses my hard-earned money to fund this buffoon's
upkeep, daydreaming and trips abroad...  Why??
Needless to say, Halper does not even attempt to explain how such ‘state’ would be convened, through which miracle people engaged in a violent, century-old struggle would suddenly agree to form his ‘grand coalition’.  There is of course nothing similar in the Middle East, which is why Halper is forced to cast his eyes further afield towards Switzerland and Belgium.  Leaving aside the fact that neither Palestinian Arabs nor Israeli Jews actually want Halper’s Canaan (and at the time of our writing it remains doubtful whether Walloons and Flems desire to be Belgians), there remains to deal with the ‘small detail’ of how a ‘Swiss-type solution’ (i.e., one that evolved over centuries in the heart of Europe) can be swiftly and peacefully implemented in the Middle East – the Middle East of Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Hamas and Hizb’allah.

But ‘big thinkers’ like Halper do not trouble themselves with such trifles.  Quite the opposite: in his ‘grand vision’, doing away with the Jewish State is merely the first stage.  The ultimate solution is, of course, doing away with nation states altogether and replacing them with a “Middle East Confederation of Cultures and Peoples” which would include not just the newly formed ‘Canaan’, but also Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.  Easy-peasy; Halper even goes on to ‘design’ the main ‘governing bodies’ of this new ‘political entity’:

  • "A People’s Assembly would represent the many ethnic and cultural groups of the region, many of whom have territorial allegiances (Bedouins, Druze, Circassians, Samaritans, Alawites, Maronites, Roma, Armenians, Mizrahi Jews, Greeks and more).
  • A National Assembly would represent those who choose to identify with their national communities whose territorial attachments often overlap (Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, Syria and Lebanese, perhaps also Kurds and others).
  • An Assembly of Religions would represent those many for whom their religious identities are central, if not primary (Muslims, Jews and Christians in their myriad denominations, some overlapping with their national identities, plus Bahai, Samaritans, Druze and others).
  • A Free Assembly, for people like me and probably most of you reading this, would represent or give expression to citizens of the Confederation who choose to identify solely as individuals or with whatever pan- and post-state identity emerges, or for whom participation in the wider body-politic complements their participation in other Assemblies; finally,
  • An Assembly of Political Groups would represent constituencies organized around cross-cutting issues and ideologies (political movements and parties, religious groupings such as Hizbollah or Hamas, feminist and LGBT communities of interest, environmentalists and businesspeople, to name just a few). "

Leaving aside the ‘slight difficulty’ that people like me would anticipate in getting the likes of Hamas and Hizb’allah to democratically share an ‘assembly’ floor with feminist and LGBT organisations (presumably the Israeli ones, as none exist in the Arab world), all this conspicuously looks – depending on your own cultural background – like either the ‘Messianic Age’ or a Middle Eastern re-enactment of good-ol’ Soviet Union.  Don’t trouble Halper with practical questions, however; boiled down to basics, his ‘logic’ is simple: Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews can’t find a way to end their conflict?  Then just throw in also the Alawites of Syria, the Shi’a of Iraq and Lebanon, the Sunnis; and, for good measure, also Kurds, Christians and Druze – all of whom are also entrenched in bitter, violent conflicts.  Fire-fighting by dousing the flames with… petrol.  How brilliant!

Sane people will, of course, find the man’s ruminations ridiculous, the phantasms of an ideology-intoxicated daydreamer (I rather generously assume the absence of more chemical types of intoxication).  And indeed, as Halper himself is forced to notice, his ‘Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions’ is… devoid of Israelis.  In Halper’s words,
“We’re one of the best known Israeli organisations abroad […] But we’re one of the least known Israeli organisations within Israel.”
Speaking of one of ICAHD’s ‘events’, the group’s founder complains that
“We had internationals, we had Palestinians, but we had no Israelis, not even activists […] They just don’t come. It’s not on their agenda.”
But for an old-style Marxist like Halper, the failure to persuade his countrymen through democratic means is irrelevant; there are always anti-democratic ways:
“The occupation is only going to end with outside pressure […] so why waste time trying to get through to Israeli society?”
Or, as Stalin and Hitler would have put it, why waste time paying heed to people’s democratic wishes, when they can always be coerced to do what they’re told by the ideological übermenschen?

So, having despaired of his fellow Israelis, Halper is busy fishing for ‘international partners’.  And it’s not that he doesn’t get traction – we are informed that his ‘international network’ currently includes
“a museum in South Africa, the Palestinian peace centre Beit Arabiya, and an activist squat in Poland”
Ludicrous as all this may sound, this buffoon – whose Israeli following can be counted sparingly on the fingers of one hand – gets invited by foolish Westerners to ‘represent the Israeli peace camp’.  Thus, he ‘represented’ it at the recent hate festival organised by St James’s Church in Piccadilly, London – at which the usual audience of compulsive Israel-bashers has eagerly swallowed his rants against ‘occupation’ and ‘apartheid’.

The question is, however: why does the EU Commission fund –using taxpayers’ hard-earned money – the activities of a Jeff Halper?  Why does the EU – a Middle East Quartet member officially supporting the two-state solution – give money to an ideological outfit clearly opposing that solution?  Why does the European Union (which is committed by law to the principles of liberal democracy) finance a fringe Marxoid groupuscle aimed at the dismantling of a democratic state?  How would the Government of Spain (another ICAHD donor) react, were Israel to financially support subversive organisations aimed at dismantling Spain?

The European Union (as well as several European governments) is guilty of funding terrorism and subversion; and the only question is – is this the result of mere incompetence, or of malevolence?

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