Eurocrats and NATOcrats Plan Israel’s Non-Future

No punches were pulled this time. The Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was at his most abrasive on Tuesday, October 27, when assailed with moral lectures from a group of 170 visiting European parliamentarians from 24 countries.
Asked by Irish parliamentarian David Norris how Israel could talk about “executing (sic) Arafat if it is indeed, as it likes to say, the only democracy in the Middle East”, Ariel Sharon replied: “Don’t worry about our democracy. Arafat lives, and not only is he healthy, but he is very active in organizing acts of murder against women and children.”
He went on to deny any intention of killing him, “although the man is responsible for the deaths of… thousands… mostly civilians.”
When one of the mission’s organizers said the Europeans’ number one concern was the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank, Sharon rapped out: “If there were no Palestinian terror, there would be no fence.”
He then countered with charges of his own: I have never heard anyone in the European Parliament speak out against Iran’s public threat to destroy Israel or its race for a nuclear weapon. “They only call me when the battery of Arafat’s mobile runs low – never when Israeli families are wiped out by Palestinian suicides…”
The group visited Jerusalem on a mission to Israel and Jordan on behalf of Med-Bridge, a body founded by a French Socialist to better understand the complexities of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Designated Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia refused to receive the Europeans. At all their meetings with Israelis, they were accused of currying favor with the Palestinian and media distortion in their favor.
Rejecting the charges, the visiting parliamentarians said Israel’s public relations had failed because it focuses too much on fighting terrorism and too little on hopes for peace.
Sharon may have decided to give the European visitors the rough edge of his tongue after learning about certain innovative plans afoot in Brussels. The latest exposure appeared a day earlier in an article by Thomas L. Friedman in the October 27 New York Times, captioned “Expand NATO to Iraq, Egypt and Israel” and ending with the writer saying: “No, I haven’t lost my marbles.”
The thesis he picked up in interviews with NATO officials is this: If NATO really wants to secure Europe, it needs to help stabilize other regions to its south. Iraq, after getting a democratic government, will need a force “over the horizon” as guarantor. The ideal force to do this would be a combined Iraqi-multinational force that included an Arab-Muslim component. Egypt is the leading candidate. Why? All 55,000 of the alliance’s “usable Euro-Canadian troops” are currently “maxed out” on peacekeeping missions (The remainder of its 1.4 million forces is deskbound, or untrained). Egypt however has a huge surplus of military manpower.
In other words, both Iraq and Egypt would join NATO.
The next logical stage would be to co-opt Israel to the alliance to maintain the balance of power. If Israelis and Palestinians reach a peace accord, they will need a credible multinational force to police it, and the only one would be a US-led NATO force. Since US, European and Canadian forces are “maxed out” elsewhere, Israel would have to accept Egyptian-Iraqi “peacekeepers” provided they were packaged under American command.
Lo and behold, Arafat’s dream of an international force to police the conflict becomes attainable with the help of the creative strategists of Brussels.
This gambit has surfaced of late in different guises.
Nineteen days before the New York article appeared, a debkafile informant dining at a Knightsbridge restaurant with a highly-placed British intelligence official heard him drop this remark: “Some people in the West have come to the conclusion that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was a mistake.” When asked to explain whether this meant that the Jews were to be evicted from the Middle East, he replied: “Certainly. Israel has a little more than 5 million Jews. If the United States and NATO were to finance their relocation in other countries, that would solve many Middle East problems.”
This same British source is extremely well-connected in high NATO circles and has moreover established a long-running reputation for credibility. In early 1973, for instance, he asked an official of the Golda Meir government with whom he was dining in Jerusalem what Israel would do if the Arabs went to war and imposed an oil embargo. The official was taken aback by a proposition that seemed totally unrealistic at the time. Seven months later, the Yom Kippur War broke out coupled with an oil embargo.
In October 2003, the same British intelligence officer once again dropped a warning of schemes being spun in secret in Brussels to de-legitimize the Israeli democracy, whittle away its independence and eventually bring the state into eclipse.
Friedman hadn’t lost his marbles, after all.
This is the scheme lurking behind the recent rush of anti-government political initiatives on the part of Israeli leftwing circles who maintain intimate connections in certain European capitals. The Israeli pilots’ revolt against operations in Palestinian territory was enthusiastically backed by the same group that went on to instigate the “Geneva understandings”. At the core of this draft is a panacea for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: All points at issue will be brought to international arbitration or handed over to international monitors.
Co-author Amram MItzna, the former Labor leader who lost the last general election to Ariel Sharon’s Likud, returned from Europe a few days ago and publicly questioned Sharon’s legitimacy as Israeli prime minister.
The realization of the Brussels plan would satisfy Arafat’s demand for internationalization of his dispute with Israel because it would internationalize the Jewish state.
Israel’s standing as an independent democracy would make way for its subservience to international rule. This proposition would not be likely to go down with the Israeli voter, which may be why the authors of the “Geneva Understandings” were in no hurry to make good on their pledge to tout the document from door to door. It certainly explains why two senior NATO members, Belgium and France, enthusiastically granted its senior author, Yossi Bailin, $7 million for domestic marketing and promotion as an official document. Daniel Levy, son of Lord Levy who is a close friend of Tony Blair, is said to be a co-author of its English text. His father is trying to get Bailin received at 10 Downing Street.
Getting the paper accepted as an official document by a group of NATO member-governments would provide the alliance with a solid basis for moving ahead with a private plan that would lead ultimately to the termination of the State of Israel.
Sharon is most certainly aware of the scheme afoot in the European branch of NATO. Hence his barely concealed Euro-antagonism.

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