70 years after the Holocaust, elected members of the EU – the organization created as the answer to the horrors of World War II – excitedly hail a call for Jews to live in fear.
Imagine the year is 1944. Imagine that Europe has been reluctantly at war with Nazism for several years now, all the while trying to determine whether the Nazis really mean what they say, or whether Hitler has simply misrepresented them. The public seems unable to arrive at a conclusion, but there is general agreement that the enemies of the Nazis – the Jews – have created unnecessary provocation simply by existing.
Imagine that at the British Houses of Parliament, a small group of parliamentarians has welcomed a number of female Nazis to participate in a panel debate on the role of women in the struggle for necessary ‘lebensraum’ against the Jews. As the Nazis speak of the need to ‘eradicate the Jew’, the audience claps enthusiastically.
This scenario is impossible to imagine and obviously, such a panel never took place at the Houses of Parliament; nor did European leaders spend years debating whether Nazis were evil, even if an awful lot of Europeans did support them, many of them in a very direct way.
However, a panel on eradicating Jews did take place recently, at the European Parliament no less. Last Tuesday to be exact. The European Parliament – the only directly elected EU body, which represents the EU’s 500 million inhabitants – apparently had no qualms about letting its premises be used to host a convicted Arab terrorist, Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a conference about “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle.” The EU, the US, Canada, and Australia, have all designated the PFLP a terrorist organization. The conference was organized by the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc in the European Parliament and the Unadikum Brigades of Spain, along with Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Addameer and the BDS movement. (Notably, Spanish ‘activists’ appear to be much more preoccupied with Arabs in the Middle East than with the Catalonians fighting for independence from Spain).
At the conference, Leila Khaled, a multiple airplane hijacker, said: “There won’t be peace as long as there is even a single Zionist on Palestinian land. We praised the shahid whose blood was spilled on the land of Palestine after he shot the soldiers, the occupiers. That’s how we want them to live, we want them to live in fear!’
The audience, consisting of European parliamentarians, the Venezuelan ambassador and many others, gave Khaled a standing ovation. By doing that, they also applauded the murder of Israeli civilians, women and children. While the PFLP had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, when it hijacked airplanes, bombed supermarkets, massacred travelers at airports, among other crimes, it is still believed to be the second-largest faction of the PLO and is much devoted to terrorism. In 2002, PFLP terrorists murdered a mother and three of her children, together with their neighbor; in 2011, PFLP terrorists massacred an entire family, the Fogels, including their three children, the youngest only three months old.
Over seventy years after the end of the Holocaust, Europeans meeting at the parliamentary heart of the European Union – the organization that claims to be the answer to the horrors of the Second World War – are excitedly applauding the murder of innocent Jews. Would the EU parliament have allowed a similar panel run by ISIS or does it only approve of terrorists specifically dedicated to murdering Jews?
Perhaps it should have been less of a surprise. In June 2016, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a now infamous speech at the European Parliament where he drew heavily on old anti-Semitic blood libels in falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison water used by Arabs.
In the recent general election to the Bundestag, the German Ministry of Interior allowed the PFLP to register as a political party and run a political campaign. The country that gave birth to Nazism finds it unproblematic to let murderers of Jews run for political office. Germany is not equally generous with political opinions it disagrees with. The German state has prosecuted people who criticize the government’s migration policies, convicting them in court for writing things on Facebook such as “The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk. Make this end!” The German government considers this to be ‘hate speech’. The PFLP message to murder Jews, evidently, is not. In July 2014, Frankfurt police let mainly Muslim “protesters” use their van’s megaphone to belt out slogans of incitement in Arabic, including the repeated chanting of “Allahu Akbar” and that Jews are “child murderers”.
In 2015, a German court found that the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal by two German Arabs and a juvenile accomplice was not anti-Semitic, but rather “an act of protest” to “bring attention to the Gaza war.”
There seems to be a morbid fascination in Europe with Islamic terrorists who want to murder Jews, a fascination that is all the more bizarre, as Europe itself has never been more afflicted by Islamic terrorism, its cities subject to terrorist attacks on an almost weekly basis. Amazon sells t-shirts of a young Leila Khaled posing with a machine gun and the text, ‘Resistance is not terrorism, PFLP’. The t-shirts ship from the UK. The keffiyeh that has become the symbol of the PLO has become a luxury fashion accessory for the hip and the progressive, who wear the contemporary symbol of the Arab wish to throw the Jews in the sea around their neck as a political fashion statement.
Meanwhile, Israel graciously helps Europe protect itself against the kind of terrorism that Europe emphatically does not applaud, namely that which is directed against its own civilians. It does so by sharing intelligence and technology. For example, in November 2015, it was a specific intelligence warning from Israel that led German authorities to call off a soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands. (Around the same time, German department stores were removing Israeli wine from their shelves after the European Union released its new guidelines on the labeling of Israeli goods from Judea and Samaria). Likewise, an Israeli-made Skystar surveillance balloon protected world leaders during the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris.
Perhaps Israel should set some minimum conditions for helping those countries who grab its help with one hand, while cheering and applauding its enemies with the other.
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst