Friday, September 03, 2004

Column: September 3

US troop withdrawals from Europe should in my estimation have a powerful effect on Israel by helping to finally put to an end the Israeli Left and their aping of Old Europe, pro-Arab, appeasement antics. In order to understand the effect the withdrawals will likely have it is necessary first of all to look at some of the changes that are sweeping Europe and to then look at the troop withdrawals within the greater context of those changes.

Let's look at some recent appointments within the European Commission (EC), the European Union's executive arm, that give evidence to these changes in Europe:

For one, the EC's new president, Jose Manuel Barroso, is considered a "sworn Atlantacist" -- a clear sign that a "new sensibleness" has already taken root in Europe. His influence should be significant upon the EC. Being an Atlanticist, his attitudes toward Israel more closely reflect those of America and are seen as moving the EU to a more balanced position -- as opposed to the familiar pro- Arab animosity.

Other recent appointments also reflect the growing strength of Atlanticist "New Europe" and the waning of "Old Europe" Those nations that support President Bush in the war on terror and the war in Iraq; Britain, Italy, Poland, Spain (until the bombing and subsequent election), the Netherlands and Denmark -- all received choice appointments. On the other hand, France was humbled as it received the minor transport portfolio and Germany, which was hoping to receive the "super-economic" post was disappointed when it merely received the industry portfolio.

Another important change is the appointment of a British Jew, Peter Mandelson, to the post of trade commissioner.

These are important changes and show that a trend of Atlanicization in Europe is clearly in place. The withdrawals will push that trend forward as they signify the beginning of the end of the Cold War presence of the US Military in Europe. There is reason for cautious hope that the anti-Americanism of Old Europe will fade at this juncture and with it the anti-Zionism that is coupled with it as Old Europe reconciles itself to the new reality.

I quote again from Victor Davis Hanson's NRO column "Welcome Back, Europe" ...
"So it is also with some trepidation that we are seeing the inevitable end of the old, and the beginning of a new, transatlantic world, as troops on the ground at last reflect the reality of the past 20 years. And as we begin to leave Europe, as NATO mutters and shuffles in its embarrassing dotage, as cracks in an authoritarian and unworkable EU begin to widen, ever so slowly we here in the United States shall start to witness all over Europe both a new sensibleness — and a new furor."

Regardless of whether Old Europe chooses a path of "new sensibleness" or furor -- or some combination of both, the Israeli Left will be left out in the cold. A "new sensibleness" will mean the fading away of Old Europe and with it the Israeli Left which clings to its coat tails of appeasement. If a "new furor" were to unfortunately emerge, the Israeli Left would run for cover at the prospect of openly antagonizing America. Either way, the Left goes the way that it should, making Israel a much safer place as the insanity of appeasement goes the way it must.

It follows that the end of the Israeli Left is dependent on the continuation of the trend in Europe that the troop withdrawals represent and promote. In turn, this trend is largely dependent on the reelection of President Bush and a continuation of the war on terror.

Perhaps the last hope of the Left and appeasers everywhere is that John Kerry will be the next President of the United States. For Israel, I believe his election would be a disaster. Kerry has said many contradictory things and it is hard to know what course he would take on any issue, but he has made it as clear as he seems capable of that mending relations with France and Germany is a priority of his and that his war on terror would be somehow "sensitive."

A reversal of the ascendancy of New Europe by Kerry would likely mean a new breath of life for the Israeli Left. That could easily cost Israel more than Chamberlain's policies of appeasement cost Czechoslovakia.


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