Sunday, November 8, 2015

Europe a lost cause for Israel? Not so fast

Ari Soffer, israelnationalnews

Instead of giving up on Europe, it's time Israel changed its strategy and reached out to potential supporters right under its nose.

Image from article, with caption: MEP Mischael Modrikamen Jerusalem Leaders Policy Summit

Europe, many Israeli and American Jews will tell you, is a lost cause as far as Israel is concerned. With anti-Israel sentiment more virulent than ever, illustrated among other things in the European Union's shameless move to label Jewish-made goods from Judea-Samaria, most non-European supporters of Israel would argue there's simply no hope.
But the participants at last week's First Jerusalem Leaders Policy Summit would beg to differ.
The Summit brought together dozens of conservative politicians and experts from the United States, Europe, Israel and India, for what was more than a simple show of solidarity with Israel at a difficult time. As its key organizer told Arutz Sheva last week, the Summit's purpose was twofold: highlighting and cementing Israel's common cause and shared values with other democracies, while simultaneously charting a common strategy for dealing with mutual threats. ...
Mischael Modrikamen, co-founder and leader of the Belgian People's Party . ... warned there were deep-seated reasons for anti-Israel sentiment in Europe among "parts of" the general public . ... 
He broke down European opinion on Israel into three broad camps: "One third of the population is very Left, they hate Israel and won't be persuaded otherwise.
"Another third are essentially pro-Israel, and another third just don't care - they might utter a few anti-Israel phrases here and there because that's what they hear in the media, but really they aren't engaged either way."
Focusing on the latter two camps should be the aim of Israeli public diplomacy, he advised, not trying in vain to sway the haters within the EU or elsewhere. ...

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