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European fickleness ahead of UN vote as immature as Israeli response

As I was witnessing how Israel lost European support last week ahead of the Palestinian statehood bid at the UNGA, I felt like it reminded me of something. But I couldn’t remember what.

The day after the vote, it dawned on me. As I was watching my daughter play with her kindergarten friends during a Hanukkah party, I saw exactly what the Europeans looked like. I witnessed my kid and her friends quickly decide on something, and then change their mind instantly to something opposite – you know, the usual kindergarten peer pressure. It reminded me exactly the European show of “diplomacy” I saw just the day before.

And I got angry. Because it’s not like the conflict started yesterday. It’s not like the upcoming resolution wasn’t heard of until this week.

But no, they were fickle like kindergarten kids. First France, then Spain, and each day up to the vote more and more joined. All in less than a week. Even Germany changed its mind, apparently less than 24 hours before the vote.

People die. Bombs are dropped on families. Rockets are fired on people in balconies. Land is stolen for years. Millions live without basic civic rights.

And all you can do in your posh government offices is say “Hmmmm look, France did it, Spain did, Britain looks a bit shaky… maybe we should switch, too?”

Is this some kind of game?

Do you “enlightened” have no stance whatsoever on the topic of Palestinian independence? Is it the first time you’ve come across it? You change your mind as easily as a child considers going for chocolate ice cream or vanilla. You change your minds based on what your kindergarten European buddy does first, and then follow suit.

These are how decisions are made concerning one of the longest, bloodiest conflicts around?

Peer pressure? In the space of hours?

Supporting Palestine is a good thing. But at least have some backbone when you go for it. Some maturity.

Many have said Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response to build 3,000 units outside of Maaleh Adumim as punishment for the Palestinian UN bid is a childish move. I couldn’t agree more.

But it’s not like European leadership is any better.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. sh

      But who are we to complain, I was going to say, until I read your last line. Still, if beleaguered dissident children are allowed a moan, I prefer to focus it on the Americans and the Canadians. WHY on earth?

      Back to that last line, Europe has baggage as we all know. It was interesting to watch them dither. All moved in the same direction. To tell you the truth I was encouraged. Next time will be easier for them.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      Calm down. No, they really don’t care. For you this is a moral issue. For them these are all just minor political games played on the edge of their peripheral vision. This is especially true when presented with a UN resolution which has so little actual significance as far as their day-to-day lives are concerned.

      Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      Obviously no-one really cares about Palestinians, Israelis, Russians, Germans and whoever else – except for their national leaders, who theoretically should care. xD

      Only interests of influential people matter – and influential people seldom are bothered by supposed moral burden of their deeds.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Matt

      Unfortunately true.

      Reply to Comment
    5. No, Bibi and Europe are not the same in reaction. Israeli State policy tends to frame through punishment, at least in timing. The 3000+ units have been in planning for some time; the UN outcome simply provides cover to act at the moment. Bibi’s announcement was not childish at all.

      As to Europe, vaguely evolving international law is important, for it can frame future decisions–not so much of States, but of other, derived international entities; and these latter decisions can come to constrain States themselves, perhaps on issues of refugees, or criminality.

      But the bodies you mourn for, and many to come, will remain unaffected.

      Reply to Comment
      • Greg, I think it’s quite naive to think there is no connection between the Israeli response and the UN bid. So what if the units were in planning? NOW they have the green light, and that’s what’s important. And childish, I’ll say again.
        .
        And if that was not childish enough for you, what do you say about this:
        http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=294263
        Was this also years or months in planning? Of course it wasn’t. It’s simple punishment, which, by the way, is how every news org in main stream media in Israel is treating it. Not only me.
        .
        As for Europe, you say vaguely evolving? I don’t call decision making on serious topics in the matter of hours, and only based on what a neighbor does, as “evolving”.

        Reply to Comment
    6. It may be wishful thinking, but my guess is that the EU countries were still wondering how strongly the USA would punish deviation from the pro-Israel line — and the USA gave (quiet, indistinct, deniable) vibes that it would not punish * * *.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        UN just efficiently cancelled Olso agreements.

        Hardly they could do anything more pro-Israeli

        Reply to Comment
    7. AYLA

      I’m just really pissed at Nauru.

      Ami–I haven’t commented here for a while, so let me offer some of what I think used to be my signature optimism. I think those countries have always wanted to vote for the Palestinian statehood (unless they actually believed in a different path to the same end), but didn’t because of U.S. pressure (even though the U.S. has always wanted two states, too…) Pillar of Whatever, however, actually really upset people. It brought everyone right back the experience of Cast Lead, showed the world that we’ve circled around back to nowhere (i.e. nothing else has worked or will any time soon) as more children are killed and traumatized, and everyone, the U.S. included, knew this war (I’m not so cynical as to call it a “situation”) could have been avoided and the the assassination of Jabari was a huge mistake. That left Obama, too, wanting to vote Yes for Palestine, and everyone knew it, which gave the other countries the green light to abstain (which was a diplomatic Yes–not making the U.S. appear powerless, but having a conscious). In other words, The domino effect of countries giving each other permission to abstain or vote Yes came exactly because they care about human life and Palestinians. It came as a direct response the war.

      That said, yup, it’s a huge chess board. mostly for Israel and Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
      • Elisabeth

        I think too that Pillar of Whatever, taking place just before the vote, was what tipped the scales.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Ami:

      Well said. I was having similar thoughts about this in the weeks leading up to the UN vote. Does everyone actually think that this is a game? People die, innocent children die and for what? The lack of conviction demonstrated is pathetic. Obviously “tough love” is not on the menu.

      Reply to Comment
    9. rsgengland

      The tragedy of this whole farce is that it has taken the Arab/Muslim world 65 years to recognize and accept the UN partition plan of 1947, and thus the existance and reality of Israel.
      Its now what everyone does with this altered (not new) situation that counts.

      Reply to Comment

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