No matter what side of the political divide you occupy, you have to wonder about the apparent naivety of the EU when it comes to the Middle East. Having decided that they wanted to formalize their rejection of Israeli rule across the Green Line, they seem surprised that Israel has reacted – as seen here and here – by ending co-operation. Did they think that Israel would stand still and take the abuse? Indeed, as I write this, it strikes me that ‘naivety’ may be too kind a description. Would stupidity be more accurate?
Where is there any evidence of their joined up thinking?
For example, let’s turn the clock back a few months to the time the EU had decided it was going to formalize its policy. Didn’t anybody ask the question: if we do this, what will Israel do? If nobody asked the question, it is strongly suggestive of a level of managerial incompetence that would doom any commercial enterprise. Being free of such real life risks, they will continue in their bungling. So, we should expect more of the same in the future.
But what if somebody did ask the question? What was the answer? The eurocrats with more than single digit numbers of brain cells must have warned of Israeli retaliation, surely? And having made their decision, and publicized it, what options are left to the EU? In other words, they have come out with all guns blazing, full of righteous energy, and brimming with arrogance. But they have shot their bolt. Their room for maneuver is limited. And limited may be too generous.
It’s a bit of a puzzle. Do we assume they are daft, or they don’t care?
As a separate issue, it should be noted that part of the Israeli co-operation which is being ended, is that of the IDF. What do the IDF do? Protect the eurocrat representatives. Now, who do you think they are protecting them from? The irony runs deep. The problem is, on the basis of the evidence before us, Ashton and company are too dense to see it.
[Note: I suspect the EU action is illegal under international and European law, but that premise is unlikely to be tested. However, their own mantra of “illegal settlements” and “occupied territory” would not stand up to an independent court, were there such a thing. Have a look here and here at some of the factual, legal niceties that Ashton – and many Israel haters – ignore.]