Palestine: If America won’t do what is needed Europe should and here’s why


For many years I have believed that unless America took the lead in doing whatever is necessary to cause Israel to end its defiance of international law and be serious about peace on the basis of justice for the Palestinians and security for all Europe would do nothing and, by default, go on being complicit in Israel’s ongoing colonization of the occupied West Bank. But a recent article by Daniel Barenboim, the Jewish and globally celebrated pianist and conductor and outspoken critic of Israel’s occupation, caused me to wonder if it’s time to forget about what America could but won’t do and focus on the need for Germany and Britain to put their act together and take the lead.

The case for saying that Britain and Germany should take the lead can be simply stated.

In very different ways they, Britain and Germany, gave Zionism the cover of legitimacy and the credibility it needed to create, mainly by terrorism and ethnic cleansing, a state for Jews in the Arab heartland; and by doing so they, Britain and Germany, set the stage for a conflict that could possibly take the region and perhaps the whole world to hell.

The headline over Barenboim’s article in The Guardian was Germany should talk straight with Israel. (Barenboim has lived in Berlin for the past 23 years). The headline given to the same article as published by Jews for Justice for Palestinians was Germany must take leading role on Israel-Palestine in a rudderless world.

In Barenboim’s analysis “The U.S. hasĀ gradually forfeited the moral and political authority it had built up so successfully in Europe with the Marshall plan after the second world war“.

He went on:

Today the world appears rudderless. Even small, ostensibly local, conflicts quickly grow and spread out of control. September 11 and its repercussions, the wars in the Middle East, the Ukraine conflict; all this would have been unthinkable if the West had found a new balance and lived up to its responsibilities after the cold war. Instead, there is now an international power vacuum. I am convinced that Europe in general and Germany in particular should shoulder more of the burden in these difficult times.”

And on Germany and Israel this:

“Germany’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a diminutive one. It does not want to inflame sensibilities over its relations with Israel. However, if there is to be a solution to the conflict, Germany must play some role and exert some form of influence on Israeli policy. Germany can and should put political pressure on Israel. After all, we are talking here about the intellectual and political future of the state of Israel. The logic is simple: Germany is committed to the ongoing security of the state of Israel, but this is only possible in the long term if the future of the Palestinian people, too, is secured in its own sovereign state. If this does not happen, the wars and history of that region will be constantly repeated and the unbearable stalemate will continue… Germany’s task, as a leading country of the world, is to make precisely this fact plain to the government of Israel – that Israel’s lasting future depends on its government’s willingness to enter into a genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians.”

Now to the British and German contributions to the establishment of a Zionist (not Jewish) state.

Page 1 of 4 | Next page