Europe's Problem with Ariel Sharon

(Middle East Quarterly/American Enterprise Institute) Suzanne Gershowitz and Emanuele Ottolenghi - The death of Arafat together with Ariel Sharon's commitment to withdraw from the Gaza Strip may have injected new momentum into Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, but European attitudes toward Israel continue to deteriorate. This antagonism has many causes - anti-Americanism, media antipathy toward the Jewish state, a perception that Israel is an outgrowth of colonialism, and anti-Semitism. An almost irrational hatred of Sharon, though, has catalyzed many of them, channeling anti-Zionism to new levels. The European obsession with Sharon increasingly makes its involvement in Arab-Israeli diplomacy more a hindrance than a help. The European antipathy toward Israel informs policies. Western European diplomats privately vilify Sharon and argue that the onus should be upon Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, often without regard to Israel's security needs or right to exist as a Jewish state.

2005-08-17 00:00:00

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