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Is There A Major Rise in Anti-Israel Attitudes in the Western European Political Community

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It has been observed that the European countries are more tilted towards Palestine as compared to Israel. The Israel Lebanon war in 2006 created much highlights in the European political circle which also reflected their tilt towards Palestine. The Council of Europe declared the Israeli response as “ disproportionate” and “ indiscriminate attack on civilian targets. ” Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi called it “ excessive” and Norwegian author Justin Gaarder called it ethnic cleansing and murdering of children. Gaarder further claimed that with such action Israel has forfeited its right to exist.

With the exception of Tony Blair, who weakly defended Israel, many European capitals witnessed protests against Israel under Hizbullah flags (The Economist, 2006). Gerstenfeld (2006) expresses his dissatisfaction over the attitude of the European political community towards Israel in his article “ Europe’ s Mindset towards Israel as Accentuated by the Lebanon War. ” The Lebanon Israel conflict that ended in 2000 was again initiated by Hizbullah when it attacked Israel in 2006 and captured and killed a few of its soldiers. Some rockets were also fired at Israel from Lebanon. In this background, Israel reacted by bombing the Beirut’ s International Airport.

Israel expected unqualified support from the western allies but unfortunately, the response was lukewarm. To add insult to injury, on July 2006, Finland issued a statement on behalf of the EU stating “ the European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hizballah on Israel. The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified (quoted by Gerstenfeld, 2006)” .

This European hypocrisy has been highlighted by the author’ s comparison of the situation with the bombing of Serbia for no reason by the NATO forces in 1999. None of the European countries declared attacks on Serbia “ disproportionate” when Serbia was turned into ruins after 73 days of bombing.  

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