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Not disasters at all

November 24, 2016 23:22

Two headlines prompted a wave of angst this week.

On Wednesday morning the news was that the EU was “removing Hamas from its terror list”; later in the day, it was that the European Parliament had “voted to recognise a Palestinian state”.

One senior rabbi said that the two pieces of news amounted to an “incredibly dark day” for Jewish communities in Europe. The Israeli prime minister was moved to comment that Europeans had “learned nothing” from the Holocaust.

The problem with both comments is that neither story was true — in the dark sense of the headlines. The EU was making no substantive change to Hamas’s status as a terror outfit; all its assets remain frozen. A European court had merely acted to have a legal technicality rectified.

Yes,the EU will now have to submit evidence to confirm the previous designation – but not a single European government expects Hamas to be removed from the blacklist (neither does Israel, despite Mr Netanyahu’s rhetoric).

Meanwhile, anyone who actually read the EP resolution would notice that it did not “recognise a Palestinian state” but supported the principle that one should come into existence, stating – crucially – that the evolution of such a state “should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks”. This was close to the position advocated by Israelis across the political spectrum.

We devalue our efforts to defend the Jewish state if we see disasters even when they are not.

November 24, 2016 23:22

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