Thursday, December 22, 2011

Phillips - Europe's unfinished business

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
21 December '11

When Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westervelle came to London a few days ago to extend an olive branch in the wake of the row between Britain and the EU over proposals to shore up the euro, he took people aback by his display of emotion. As the Guardian reported:

‘Westerwelle told an anecdote about how he went on a camping holiday overseas in the 1970s as a teenager, and was shocked that the appearance of a ”blonde, slim” young German reduced one woman to tears. That, and a trip to Berlin after the Wall went up, made him realise the importance of a united Europe.’

Such emotion is not really surprising. For many Germans, the EU is deemed vital to ensure that their own country never again repeats the horrors of the past. That was presumably what lay behind Chancellor Merkel’s remark, when the euro started to implode, that it was imperative for the EU to be saved because without it there would again be war in Europe.

This was indeed the foundational vision of the EU (and its predecessor body) in the wake of World War Two – that to ensure the peace in Europe, Germany had to be tied down like Gulliver in Lilliput, and the best way of doing this was to bind it into Europe by indissoluble economic and political ties.

It was a noble vision; but it was fundamentally flawed, I would suggest, for three main reasons. First, the erosion of national self-government inescapably involved in the EU project does not enshrine democracy but results instead in rather less of it. Second, as the euro implosion has so graphically demonstrated, trying to fashion one supranational entity out of disparate nations is intrinsically incoherent and ultimately self-destructive.

And third, the EU has done nothing to diminish the Judeophobia which led to the Holocaust in Europe. Indeed, the obsessional malice towards Israel has provided cover for a resurgence of the oldest hatred within the graveyard of European Jewry. As Giulio Meotti reports, Jews are being expelled from academia across Europe:

‘Several days ago the Israeli leftist author Moshe Sakal was booted from an academic conference in Marseilles at the request of Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish. The director of the conference, French-Jewish author Pierre Assouline, succumbed to the Arab pressure and said Sakal’s participation “was not crucial”.

‘A year ago, Marseilles’ university was the site of another anti-Jewish boycott, when the septuagenarian Israeli novelist Esther Orner, who is also a Holocaust survivor, was banned from the University of Provence after a group of Arab writers objected to her presence.

‘For the first time since Vichy’s collaborators, French faculties have been cleansed of the Jewish presence.

‘From the outside, European universities appear to many as genteel, cultured and tranquil oases of wisdom. In truth, European institutions of higher education are now brutal offsprings of anti-Jew hatred.

‘... Will the European Union, many of whose prominent members either participated or acquiesced in the destruction of European Jewry 70 years ago, put a stop to the obscurantist conspiracy of the grandchildren of those Max Weinreich famously called “Hitler’s Professors” to expel the Jews (again) from the family of nations?’

Of course, there are profound differences between today’s anti-Jewish animus and 1930s Germany. But there is also more than an unsettling echo; there is a direct line of connection. Many of the Palestinian Arabs are descended from ancestors who formed Hitler’s Middle Eastern front in Palestine, with a shared goal of exterminating the Jews. And their current agenda is being promoted by Europeans who, having created the EU to exorcise the continent’s demons, never fully faced up to the true and universal sources of the eternal hatred and lunacy that had caused the genocide of the Jews.

Given this, it is hardly fanciful to conclude that the current demonisation of Israel by the Arab-European alliance designed to soften up the world for Israel’s destruction suggests that World War Two has still not properly ended.

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