web analytics
May 7, 2015 / 18 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Cause of Europeans’ Attitude Towards Israel


Israeli Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman.

Israeli Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90

Last April, Belgium’s Justice Minister, Annemie Turtelboom, and its Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, went on an official visit to Morocco, where they had an appointment with Morocco’s Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, the leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party. Benkirane refused to address Ms. Turtelboom because she is a woman; he talked exclusively to Mr Reynders. Benkirane’s misogynous views are rooted in Koranic verses expressing contempt for women, considered only half the worth of men.

After Ms. Turtelboom had returned home, she admitted that although she had felt insulted, she had deliberately not responded to the humiliation to “avoid a diplomatic row.” Indignant female Belgian parliamentarians of Moroccan origin demanded that the Belgian government protest the treatment of the minister. But both the minister and the government preferred to remain quiet and forget the incident.

Last week, when Laurette Onkelinx, the Belgian Minister of Health, attended the annual world health conference in Geneva, she was greeted by her Israeli counterpart, Yaakov Litzman, a Hassidic Jew, who politely refused to shake Ms Onkelinx’ hand, and explained that religious stricture prevented him for doing so. Ms Onkelinx is making a great fuss about this. “My hands are clean!” she posted on her official Facebook page, comparing the Israeli minister to an Iranian official. “This kind of fundamentalist attitude, connected to a certain perception of religion and women, troubles me deeply,” she wrote.

The difference in the responses of the Belgian government ministers during the two incidents is striking. The personal insult to a female minister by the Islamist Prime Minister of Morocco was downplayed in order to “avoid a diplomatic row.” No such caution was taken into consideration when the Hassidic Israeli minister declined to shake the hand of his female Belgian colleague. On the contrary, it would seem that the latter incident is deliberately being blown out of proportion.

Ms Onkelinx, who was once married to a Moroccan, has a large Muslim constituency. “The minister’s childish reaction demonstrates her ignorance,” Michael Freilich, editor of Joods Actueel, Belgium’s largest Jewish publication, initially commented. Later, however, Freilich disclosed that Onkelinx had not been ignorant at all. Pinchas Kornfeld, secretary-general of the orthodox Jewish community Machsike Hadas in Antwerp, Belgium, told Freilich that he had met Ms Onkelinx on several occasions. “She is well aware that I would never shake her hand, but she is also aware that I have the greatest respect for her and for women in general,” Kornfeld said.

Consequently, it would seem that Onkelinx is eagerly using the incident in a deliberate attempt to embarrass Israel in the eyes of the Belgian public, depicting the Jewish state as backward, misogynous and intolerant – a state comparable to Iran.

Unfortunately, the Belgian attitude seems to be predominant in Europe today. Jewish religious practices are morally equated with intolerant Muslim behavior — but the Muslims are condoned, while the Jews are criticized and the Jewish state is morally equated with Iran.

The same deliberate moral equation of Israel with its mortal enemies can be seen in European Union reports on the situation in Jerusalem. The truth is deliberately misrepresented. Each year, through secretive processes, the EU donates tens of millions of euros to biased political NGOs on the West Bank and in Israel. Even the money of Jewish taxpayers is abused for this purpose. The reports of these very NGOs are subsequently used as the basis for EU policy statements and recommendations which undermine the Jewish claims to Jerusalem.

Jason Edelstein of NGO Monitor says this attitude is indicative of Europe’s neo-colonialist agenda in Israel. “European colonialism ended after the Second World War,” writes Edelstein. “And while African and Asian countries experienced post-colonial challenges, Israel developed quickly into a democracy with a burgeoning economy. But, along with these successes, Israel also became a playground for a neo-colonialist European agenda with its goals being to meddle and manipulate the Israeli democratic processes.”

The same phenomenon is currently at play in the Belgian attitude towards Israel. Belgium with its bloody colonial past, including King Leopold’s crimes in the Congo, bites its tongue when dealing with Islamic insults, but balks in indignation at the behavior of an Orthodox Jew. It lectures the Jewish State, but refrains from criticizing Islamists.

About the Author: Peter Martino is a European affairs columnist for the Gatestone Institute.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Cause of Europeans’ Attitude Towards Israel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, and Knesset Member Moti Yogev looking at "E-1" area of Maaleh Adumim.
Netanyahu and Bennett Sign on the Dotted Line
Latest Indepth Stories
MK Moshe-Feiglin

Perhaps there is an emotional foundation-spiritual milk–that only a mother can give a baby?

Dennis Prager

Pakistan’s creation caused a huge number of refugees & deaths; Why isn’t IT’S legitimacy questioned?

Lehmann-Sara-logo

Despite efforts to revive Jewish cultural life in Poland, which has met with a measure of success and support from Polish officials, Poland still remains a virtual graveyard of its prewar glory days.

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

The campaign reportedly also killed nearly 2,000 Islamic State fighters.

Each craved more out life and within a few months they’d mastered English, received their high school equivalencies, and begun climbing the rungs of the ladder of the American Dream.

Many think they’re serving G-d but they’re really asleep-Rebbe Nachman taught stories to wake people

Pollsters asked Palestinians “What is the #1 obstacle facing the Middle East?” Israel placed only #4

Palestinian society treats mass murderers as heroes & is led by a president who embraces terrorists

Although it’s emotionally difficult to see the suffering, helping out makes me happy.

I decided to really understand what Jewish people go through by becoming a Jew.

Why does Obama and other democratic world leaders resist branding the Armenian killings as genocide?

I stated with clarity in simple terms, “Jews don’t have gangs.”

More Articles from Peter Martino
The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, pictured above, is run by the Anne Frank Foundation, which wrote in a report, "Israel pushes Palestinians economically into a corner and humiliates them psychologically."

“It appears that the suffering of the Jews has not transformed their view on how others should be treated.” — David Ward, British MP.

angela and friend

Because of the “5% hurdle,” Germany’s new coalition will tilt be to the left, while voters clearly wanted Germany to turn to the right.

Belgian children aged 6 to 12 are being instilled with a deep hatred for.

Islamic immigrants are hoping that by turning out a large number of their voters at a time of German voter apathy, they will be able to promote the further Islamification of Germany.

Europeans are rebelling against the unelected E.U. and its grandiose, self-regarding project of abolishing the national sovereignty.

The valuable Cypriot gas fields are located halfway between the Cypriot and Israeli coast.

Indicative of the national mood, the French are the world’s largest consumers of anti-depressants.

What we are witnessing is the Obama administration actively interfering in European politics to advance European centralization.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-cause-of-europeans-attitude-towards-israel/2012/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: