Europe may be changing its mind

The European Union countries have been the principle supporters of the Palestinians since 1948. As noted previously, Arab countries contribute only 6% of the annual cost of UNRWA, which is the UN agency that has perpetuated the Palestinian camps. Other refugees have been settled elsewhere. Only the Palestinians, serving as a perpetual “victim” of Israel’s existence, have never been resettled. Now, Egypt and Jordan, which share borders with Palestinian zones, resist any effort of accept them for settlement, as I posted on before.

Now, Europe may be losing patience with the Palestinians, as it faces its own Muslim problems.

Europe was a Middle East counterbalance – generally sympathetic to Palestinians as the weaker party, critical of an unqualified US backing of Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization had offices in Europe. France’s Navy helped Yasser Arafat escape Tripoli in 1983. Europe backed the Oslo Accords, and saw the Palestinian cause as a fight for territory and statehood.

Yet Europe’s traditional position on the Arab dispute has been quietly changing: It is gravitating closer to a US-Israeli framing of a war on terror, a “clash of civilizations,” with a subtext of concern about the rise of Islam – and away from an emphasis on core grievances of Palestinians, like the ongoing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and “occupation.”

As Europeans witness violent anti-Israel rallies that burn cars and murder Jews who have nothing to do with Israel, they may be coming to see the serpent they have clasped to their collective breast.

Public support for Arabs is down due social tensions with Muslim immigrants. “Europe fears an Islamist threat, whether internal or external, and this has begun to change the overall views on the Israel-Palestine conflict,” says Aude Signoles of the University of La Réunion. “There is a general ‘Arab fatigue’ in Europe,” says Denis Bauchard of L’Institut français des relations internationales.

A Pew Global Attitudes poll in 2006 found that French sympathies were evenly divided (38 percent) between those sympathizing with the Palestinians and with Israel, marking a doubling of support for Israel and a 10 percent gain for Palestinians over the previous two years. In Germany, 37 percent sympathized with Israel – an increase of 13 points over 2004 and more than double those who supported the Palestinians.

This is a change and may be a sign that the Palestinians should become more realistic about their goals.

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4 Responses to “Europe may be changing its mind”

  1. doug says:

    Well, I’m getting sick of the “2-state solution talk” that seems to be the dominant position both in the US and Israel. It’s politically correct blather. It may well have been possible decades ago if the Palestinians had given up the notion of eliminating Israel. That was then and now is now. There are many more settlers scattered all over the West Bank post Oslo and they aren’t gonna leave without a fight. “Transfer,” a benign (non-lethal) form of “ethnic cleansing,” as unpalatable as it is, may be, as Benny Morris pointed out, the only viable humantarian option.

    What a damned mess.

  2. The mess is a construct of the Arabs who resisted assimilation of the Palestinians they encouraged to flee in 1948. Then UNWRA has cited the descendants of the refugees as “refugees”, as well. This has been unprecedented in world history. Europe in 1946 was filled with “DP” camps as Germans, in particular, fled from the Russians. Those camps closed decades ago. Why are the Palestinian camps still there ?

  3. Abe Bird says:

    As far as things going (or being stocked) in the middle east I think that the only sane solution for the ‘Palestine problem’ is two states for two peoples, and not 3 or 4 states, as I hear people dream.

    The 2 states solution is The Palestinian Jordan state dwelled from the Arabian Desert in the east to the Jordan River it the west, and the Palestinian Jewish state of Israel to be located from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea shore in the west. There is no any other way to further divide the small historical Palestine between the two peoples. Jews in both states will vote for the Knesset in Jerusalem and Arabs in both states will vote for the Parliament in Amman. This is the basic and only ensured solution for solving the continuous conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Land of Israel / Palestine.

    We all have to remember that most Arab Palestinians wish to have Israel’s land with out the Jews to live on it! So both peoples have to be separated de Iure, and keep living’ de facto’ with minimum changes in the location of the population. I mainly say that there is no need to evacuate Arab Palestinian from Judea and Samaria as long as peace is being kept.

    Jordan, aka the eastern part of Palestine, should be the Palestinian Arab state which it’s Capitol is Amman. You have to remember that almost 85% of the Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs so the land is Palestine, and the Kings’ family and his Bedouins are Hashemite Bedouin tribes from middle – western Saudi Arabia. See no reason why we should keep the monarchy in Jordan and by that preserving the British historical mistake.
    Israel, the state of the Palestinian Jews, should control and dominant the western part of Palestine, with its Capitol Jerusalem. The border between both states, as I said, will be the Jordan River.

    Arabs and Jews will live where as they live today and the Arab refugees’ problem will be settled within the Arab Palestinian states with the help of other countries, including Arabs’ and Israel.

    Arabs in both states will vote to their national Parliament in Amman. Jews in both states (if Jews will move to live in now-days Jordan) will vote to their national Knesset in Jerusalem. That will make sure that Israel will stay a Jewish state no matter how many Arabs will still live inside the country. If military clashes and terror actions continue, Israel always can evacuate and transfer Arabs from west to east of the Jordan River, with or with out the Jordanian Palestinians approval.

    I would like you comments on this proposition, and even see free to fix my poor English.

    Abe Bird

  4. doug says:


    That has long been the goal. Especially amongst the settlers. The rest is just pretense and wishful thinking.