Saturday, March 30, 2002
You know the old saying: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of EuropeAfter months of dithering, the European Union has finally come out decisively on the question of terrorism: they're in favor. The Greeks are the most explicit, arguing not merely that Arafat is necessary, but that he's really a nice guy:
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou condemned the Israeli military action, saying his country had "ties, both friendly and personal, with President Arafat."Maybe George Bush ought to remind the Greeks that the United States has vowed to treat those who support terrorists the same as the terrorists themselves. Who else are the Greeks friends with? Idi Amin? Kim Il Sung? Charles Manson? But that's not an isolated sentiment, as the European Union collectively is worried far more about Arafat's safety than about Arafat's behavior. It's as if they don't think there's any connection between Israel's reactions and the events that caused them.
Spain, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said Israel's fight against terrorism and its response to recent attacks must be compatible with safeguarding the Palestinian Authority and its president -- "the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people."At first, I was shocked to read this -- after all, Arafat hasn't bothered to hold any elections lately, has he? But then I realized where this was coming from: the European Union, which is also run by unelected authoritarians.
In France, President Jacques Chirac said "any attack on (Arafat's) ability to act, or on his person, would be extremely serious."He then urged Czechoslovakia to "Just give him the Sudetenland. We wouldn't want to provoke him."
"Nothing can excuse or justify blind terrorism against civilians," Chirac told France-Info radio. "Everyone knows there cannot be a military solution to the conflict in the Middle East."Well, not if the French military is involved. What he meant, of course, is that nothing can justify terrorism, unless Arafat is your "personal friend," and Jews are the victims.
French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine accused Israel of obsessing over Arafat and trying to "asphyxiate" him.The group that insists that Arafat is a legitimate leader is accusing others of "obsessing" over Arafat?
"It's a complete illusion to believe that, even with Arafat elsewhere or replaced by whatever Palestinian chief, the problem would be different," Vedrine told RFI radio.Then, just to be safe, Vedrine offered to vacate Paris if the PLO demanded that he do so. Meanwhile, just to make sure Israel got the message:
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government asked Israel to guarantee Arafat's security and respect his elected position.So why do the Europeans keep carrying out deeds -- like criticizing Israel -- that make the resumption of dialogue impossible? Are these people that anti-American and that anti-Semitic? Or are they just stupid? Or both? Do they really not understand that terrorism is a tool used by the Palestinians to put pressure on Israel, and that every time the Europeans react to terror by trying to appease Arafat, it emboldens Arafat to escalate the violence?
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