Israel ought to be Europe’s key ally in the Middle East

Morning View
Morning View

A stark example of European decadence is its attitude to Israel.

Some countries within the EU are friendlier to it than others, with Britain one of the most friendly and the Republic of Ireland one of the most cool.

Now the EU has taken a decision to label products made in West Bank settlements.

Tel Aviv is rightly angry at such misplaced idealism.

The main chink of light in this affair is that the UK was one of the three member states to oppose the move.

Overall, Europe is once again shown to be a lukewarm supporter of Israel, unlike America, which has the good sense to recognise shared values when it sees them in a foreign country, and to support them.

The most despicable feature of European tut tutting about Israel is that it is undertaken by the sort of liberals who would be unable to stand five minutes in the Middle East, unless it was in a country as enlightened and open as Israel.

On issues from the rights of women to the rights of gay people to freedom of the press, Israel is one of the most advanced nations on earth. It is surrounded by states that have huge economic problems, that are riddled with corruption, that are to varying degrees autocratic, that are reactionary on social issues and that are much less democratic and much less free, when it comes to matters such elections and the media.

It is true that Israel is ruthless in defence of its security, but understandably so. It faces a daily existential threat. Now it is experiencing a horrific wave of random stabbings.

Some people, such as the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and many unionists in Northern Ireland, are like the Americans and know when they are amidst a culture with common values. They know who our natural allies are.

Israel has been wrestling with Islamic extremism for decades. Now the rest of the western world is doing likewise.

If that doesn’t make Europeans realise that Israel ought to be our key ally in the Middle East, then perhaps nothing will.