A new EU initiative illustrates once again the vast gulf between Europe’s declared noble goals and its actions that fundamentally undermine any hope of peace between Israel and its neighbors.
European groups have reportedly recently made a proposal to the terrorists of Hamas who rule Gaza. According to the proposal, Hamas would relinquish the “armed struggle” against Israel for at least five years. In exchange, an institution established by the EU would run and finance Gaza’s humanitarian affairs.
Does this ring any bells?
It should, because it is essentially a rehash of numerous Western failures to appease despotic regimes by rewarding them, instead of punishing their aggression. It did not work with Hitler in 1938 or with the disastrous 2015 deal with the Iranian ayatollah regime. It will not work with Hamas either.
Instead of “Peace in our time”, British Prime Minister Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler paved the way to the Second World War. Obama’s Iran deal filled the Iranian regime’s coffers with billions of dollars for simply postponing its nuclear weapons. It has also emboldened Tehran to step up its imperialist ambitions, as is evident with its aggressive military buildup on Israel’s northern border.
Hamas’ “armed struggle” is a euphemism for Israel’s destruction as it is explicitly stated in Hamas’s genocidal charter. Instead of demanding that Hamas end its aggression against Israel, Europe offers significant financial rewards to Hamas for merely postponing it.
This initiative illustrates once again the vast gulf between Europe’s declared noble goals and its actions that fundamentally undermine any fragile hope of peace between Israel and its neighbors. The same EU that blames Israel for the lack of peace is bankrolling the very enemies of peace who are seeking Israel’s destruction.
The “moderate” Fatah leader Abbas has at least acted according to the European playbook through his doublespeak, which falsely enunciates “peace” in English, while attacking Israel’s existence in Arabic.
Unlike Fatah, Hamas has never hidden its goal of destroying Israel to the international community. The fact that the EU considers financing the Gaza-based terrorist group indicates that Brussels may no longer be interested in further attempts at hiding its anti-Israel bigotry.
While Hamas still has to respond to the European proposition, it appears to be a match made in heaven for the Islamist regime in Gaza. It is not lack of foreign financial aid, but lack of will by the Hamas rulers to shoulder their governing responsibilities that has led to the deteriorating living conditions in the Gaza Strip.
To put it bluntly, Hamas is far more interested in spreading death in Israel than building life in Gaza.
Instead of financing schools, roads and hospitals, the leadership of Hamas has kept the billions for itself, while financing its terror war against Israel. The European proposal does not merely offer to finance the civilian infrastructure in Gaza. The Europeans are even offering to assume responsibility for the mundane tasks of running schools, hospitals and collecting garbage.
It would ironically also undermine the declared European goal of “reconciliation” between Hamas and Fatah. Instead of begging the unpopular Ramallah regime for money, Hamas can now receive funding directly from the Europeans who are essentially offering to establish a candy store for the Islamists in Gaza.
As in the past, Hamas would use the “hudna” or truce with Israel to rebuild and enhance its military capabilities for future aggression. European leaders are fully aware of the fact that Hamas will never disarm voluntarily. However, Hamas may be willing for its own interests to play its part in the European charade.
No war in military history has ever ended by appeasing and rewarding aggressors. Quite the contrary. Appeasement of aggression only emboldens the bullies to escalate their aggression.
Peace proposals based on falsehoods are doomed to collapse. Since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal framework, the ayatollah regime has stepped up its imperial aggression throughout the Middle East. Through its Islamist proxies like Hezbollah, it controls four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Saana. Iran is also matching its genocidal threats against Israel by increasing its military buildup on Israel’s northern borders.
The core of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a deeply rooted Muslim Arab opposition to the existence of a Jewish state within any borders. Europe should know from its own history that rewarding aggression will only lead to more war, while pushing genuine peace into a further distant future.
Daniel Kryger is a writer and a political analyst. He lives in Israel.
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