We have arrived at the moment that most of us reckoned we would never see.
Jews were prevented from praying at the Temple Mount on Tisha Be-Av, which commemorates the double destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the Romans.
The jury is still out as to whether the Israeli Government took this step out of respect for angry Muslims, or out of fear of angry Muslims. Either way, Jews were prevented from carrying out their religious obligations on one of Judaism’s most solemn days to assuage the feelings of Palestinian Arabs and Muslim outrage.
On the same day of Tisha Be-Av, one of the most sorrowful days in the Jewish calendar, the European Union announced an official policy of banning and restricting the products of Jewish industry from the heartland of Israel, including Jerusalem.
How often have European diplomats and politicians wrongly forecast events occurring in the Middle East?
What they called ‘the Arab Spring’ turned into ‘the Islamic Winter’. Didn't they force Israel to allow Arafat, the world’s first Islamic arch-terrorist, to return from his enforced exile in Tunis by acclaiming him as Israel’s peace partner? He spoke about ‘peace of the brave’ as they awarded him with their Nobel peace prize, but he gave us ‘peace of the grave’ as soon as he landed in Ramallah. Didn't they encourage us to forcefully uproot eight thousand Jewish men, women, and children from their homes in the Strip in the name of peace with the Palestinians, and didn't we get Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets instead?
Now they have the chutzpah to aim an EU directive banning their European members “from cooperating with Israeli entities in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and east Jerusalem.”
As Daniel Seaman, of the Prime Minister’s Office, reminded us on his Facebook page, “the Europeans found an unequivocal voice when it comes to Israel, but still can't declare the Hezbollah a terrorist entity. Ironically, while Europeans try to define our ancestral borders, the Muslims are redefining theirs.”
Seaman added, “With Europe's record regarding the Jewish People's past (Greece, Rome, Spain, Russia, France, Poland, Germany, Britain, et al), they have no moral say in determining the Jewish People's future.”
But they are. They have officially declared what they call the West Bank (but Jews call Judea and Samaria), and east Jerusalem, are no longer part of the State of Israel.
See how they have twisted historical fact and legitimacy. In their eyes, the Jewish homeland went from being mandated for the National Home of the Jewish People to become “disputed territory” when land was recaptured from the Jordanians in 1967 after yet another aggressive Arab war was launched against the nascent Jewish state. This land has since transmuted into “occupied territories” as the Europeans act to appease radical Palestinian Arab voices. When did fact, history, and legal definition dissolve into the lies, false definition, and anti-Israel action that has become new law in Europe - new law that for citizens of the Jewish state seem eerily akin to Nuremburg laws?
What happened to European patience, and a desire to allow the current peace initiative to take root? What happened to the Road Map that demanded no side to take unilateral action that may affect the outcome of negotiations? Instead of a quiet and orderly diplomatic route to negotiations we now have the heavy one-sided hand of European bias against Israel. As usual, it is dressed up in fine language to make it appear that they are taking altruistic steps for the good of the region.
Europe! You are not Israel’s parents any more, and we are not little children forced to take your nasty tasting medicine because you insist it is good for us. You are wrong, and you should not be surprised if Israel refuses to quietly take your gruesome medicine, and here is one reason we will not do so.
On December 10, 2012, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
Taken at face value, this means that the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, which was liberated from Jordan in 1967, and where I have just celebrated a family barmitzvah, and where many thousands of Jews from around the world commemorated Tisha B’Av, the double destruction of our holy Temple, is part of a new EU directive that states it is no longer a part of the Jewish State of Israel.
This alone should have outrage world Jewry. Rage and fury should also bring out millions of Christians that identify with an ancient heritage that no EU diplomat dare overturn.
Earlier this year I wrote an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post. It was entitled, “Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem.” It detailed the significant real estate sites that will eventually fall into the hands of Hamas when outside misguided forces side with Palestinian bad intent. When writing that piece I never thought one such decisive step would be taken by Europe within such a few short months of publication. Have I become a modern day Jeremiah?
The EU blunder has brought this terrible moment that bit closer. The Hebrew University, the Rockefeller Museum, Hadassah Hospital are, by definition of the new EU ruling, now prime targets for a European boycott.
These shining institutes of Israeli brilliance are no longer considered Israeli by the European Union who are now in lockstep with the Arabs and Muslim world. Jews are seriously under siege at the heart of their heritage.
We are not just talking here about Israeli industry in disputed territories that must remain as part of Israel in any future peace agreement, industries that employ in excess of thirty thousand Palestinian workers in a display of mutual respect and cooperation, building a better future for both Jew and Arab. Surely that in itself is what true peacemakers should applaud?
Instead, the European threat will put an end to such positive steps that have given so many Palestinians a better life. The European ultimatum also targets Israeli research, academic, and medical centers, that do so much good for mankind, and now lies at the foot of the European guillotine.
And the Europeans think this is in the best interest of people in the region. That have been oh so wrong it the past. They are dead wrong today! The are acting as peacemakers against peace, the title of yet another recent article of mine. It seems my prophecies are, sadly, coming true.
Jews of Israel feel themselves under siege by Palestinian rejectionism and terror. Now add to that the new European compliance with an agenda that reduces the Jewish presence, salami-style, from their Jewish heartland, without any commitment on the Palestinian side to permanent peace.
Europeans find nothing wrong with that, in their muddle-headed thinking that is openly biased against Israel but does nothing to force the Palestinian leadership into accepting and agreeing that Israel has a right to exist.
Such a policy will result in failure and bloodshed. As we have seen in the recent past, such short-sighted, distorted, action always ends in Palestinian violence and Jewish deaths.
I pray to G-d that this prediction does not come true.
Due to European altruistic actions towards the Palestinian Arabs, Israeli Jews are under siege, under threat, and more isolated than ever. The future is bleak.
Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He was also the co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization, and author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.” www.israelnarrative.com