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July 23, 2014 0

New EU “Conclusions” on Israel and Gaza

The Euro­pean Union’s For­eign Affairs Coun­cil, com­prised of the 28 EU for­eign min­is­ters, reg­u­larly issues “con­clu­sions” on a vari­ety of inter­na­tional issues.  Yesterday’s “Coun­cil con­clu­sions on the Mid­dle East Peace Process” show greater EU under­stand­ing for Israeli posi­tions and an end to the EU’s patience with Hamas in Gaza.

The most sig­nif­i­cant change from the pre­vi­ous Con­clu­sions of Decem­ber 2013 is the demand that “all ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza must dis­arm” and the call for “the Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment to take charge of the Gaza Strip.”  The EU wants Pres­i­dent Abbas’s so-called “unity” gov­ern­ment to replace Hamas and main­tain a monop­oly on the use of force.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, the EU con­demned Hamas for call­ing “on the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion of Gaza to pro­vide them­selves as human shields.”  Israel has been high­light­ing this war crime by Hamas and now the EU has endorsed Israel’s position. EU Flag

The EU noted that Israeli mil­i­tary oper­a­tions “must be pro­por­tion­ate and in line with inter­na­tional human­i­tar­ian law.”  How­ever, the con­clu­sions do not assert that Israel has acted dis­pro­por­tion­ately or con­trary to inter­na­tional human­i­tar­ian law.

For the first time, the EU included a para­graph about “events in the wider Mid­dle East [which] pose seri­ous threats to the EU” and war­rant a re-statement of the EU’s “fun­da­men­tal com­mit­ment to the secu­rity of Israel.”  For too long and in too many Euro­pean cap­i­tals, diplo­mats pro­moted the fal­lacy of Israeli-Palestinian peace as the key to peace through­out the Mid­dle East.  Per­haps the inclu­sion of regional threats in “con­clu­sions on the Mid­dle East Peace Process” demon­strates a new EU con­sen­sus that the Iran­ian nuclear pro­gram, the civil war in Syria, and the grow­ing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) hin­der Israeli-Palestinian peace and not the mis­guided reverse.

The EU’s “peace para­me­ters” changed with respect to refugees.  The word “real­is­tic” was added and now states that the EU expects “A just, fair, agreed and real­is­tic solu­tion to the refugee ques­tion.”  The change seems to be a nod towards Israel and an expres­sion of frus­tra­tion with the Pales­tin­ian Authority’s nego­ti­at­ing posi­tion on refugees.

Do the new EU con­clu­sions rep­re­sent a sea change? No. But the tide may be turning.

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May 29, 2014 8

American Racists Embrace Gains in Europe by Far-Right Parties

pat-buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Fig­ures rang­ing from far-right pun­dit Patrick Buchanan to white suprema­cist leader Richard Spencer of the National Pol­icy Insti­tute are embrac­ing the gains made by far-right and extrem­ist par­ties in Europe dur­ing elec­tions to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in May.

The Amer­i­cans who are salut­ing the results of the elec­tions believe that the gains by the nation­al­ist and far-right par­ties indi­cate that Euro­peans have rejected increased immi­gra­tion and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in favor of a return to tra­di­tion­al­ist val­ues. Some also argue that Euro­peans are more inter­ested in the ardent nation­al­ism and patri­o­tism exhib­ited by Russ­ian leader Vladimir Putin than in inte­gra­tion and lib­eral West­ern values.

Buchanan, who pre­dicted the results of the elec­tions in Europe in a May 23 col­umn, argued that the rise of far-right par­ties means that Euro­peans want to pre­serve their “sep­a­rate and unique eth­nic and cul­tural iden­tity.” Buchanan fur­ther asserted that the gains made by far-right par­ties sig­nal a return to “tra­di­tion­al­ism and cul­tural con­ser­vatism, rev­er­ence for the reli­gious and cul­tural his­tory and her­itage of the nation and its indige­nous peo­ple.” Buchanan has hoped for the same in the U.S. In numer­ous books and columns, he has argued that Amer­ica is being destroyed by “Third World” immi­grants and that the coun­try needs to main­tain its white Euro­pean heritage.

In his com­ments on the Euro­pean elec­tions, Matt Par­rott, a founder of the Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work, agreed with Buchanan and asserted that Euro­peans are more inter­ested in Putin’s nation­al­ism than in America’s lib­er­al­ism. He laments that white suprema­cists in Amer­ica will be “be forced to patiently wait on the side­lines” while tra­di­tion­al­ist ideals and openly nation­al­ist politi­cians come to the fore­front in the rest of the world. He sug­gests that America’s extreme right learn from the advances made by their coun­ter­parts in Europe.

In a pod­cast, Richard Spencer, the head of the white suprema­cist National Pol­icy Insti­tute, spoke with Roman Bernard of France about how anti-EU sen­ti­ment had become a “bogey­man” for far-right par­ties in Europe. They believe that anti-EU sen­ti­ment is “neg­a­tive pol­i­tics” and that Euro­peans should be focus­ing on cre­at­ing “white con­scious­ness.” White suprema­cists on both sides of the Atlantic hope that whites in Europe and Amer­ica will become “racially aware” and pro­mote their own eth­nic interests.

Anti-Semite David Duke put a dif­fer­ent spin on the Euro­pean elec­tions, which reflects his vir­u­lent anti-Jewish views. Duke asserted that Euro­pean vot­ers had rejected two ide­olo­gies that Jews allegedly force on them—immigration and globalization.

Amer­i­can white suprema­cist activists would like to see extreme-right par­ties and ide­olo­gies become more appeal­ing to the main­stream in Amer­ica. They see Europe as a model for mak­ing that hap­pen but acknowl­edge most Amer­i­cans are not inclined to accept “white nationalism.”

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