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The EU and the Syrian Track: Israel Ensnared

Christopher Barder
Policy Paper No. 101, 2000


There has been a long perception in Europe and the USA, that Israel survived when it should not have, with gains, and therefore since 1967 and 1973, it has been subject to pressures to cut it down to size. Since the end of the Cold War, this has meant a willingness to seek a rapprochement with Syria (EU financial promises; courting of Assad by Clinton). By the acceptance of this process by Rabin and Peres (followed by Ehud Barak), an extraordinary phenomenon has occurred in Israel.

The pressures on Israel to surrender the Golan have been accepted, not simply seen as external and malevolent. The false arguments behind them have been swallowed and have then poisoned rational analysis of the importance of the Golan. Syria's image has altered in Europe and the USA and Israel has lost, as it were, the capacity to see what the many internal left wing changes in perception of its true interests mean: that those working heedless of Israeli vulnerability and destruction are succeeding and with Israel accepting this weakening as a recipe for "peace" when in fact an inversion of logic has occurred a kind of "paradigm shift" exacerbated by the timing is taking place: an ailing minority regime, bankrupt, in a succession crisis, is gaining a position of mastery. How Europe views Israel being sacrificed for the sake of Europe's and America's ambitions is an unpleasant reality to be faced up to it appears not to care at all.

The only conclusion: the EU and US, wishing Israel to surrender water, strategic assets, deterrent capability, historic and religious association and so on, are either themselves incapable of understanding the significance of such, or willfully desire the end of Israel. So developed is the deception in Israel that loss of assets to those who hate it is viewed as beneficial. Thus it is perhaps justifiable for someone from outside to draw attention to it.

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