Editor’s Note: Prior to the Brexit vote, a Jewish Chronicle survey found that while Jews were divided, the majority planned to vote “Remain.” The following is excerpted from an article by Michael Kuttner (a New Zealander now living in Israel) who thinks their “Remain” vote was a mistake.
By the time you read this, the results of the British referendum will be known. Whether the UK remains or exits the European Union the repercussions of its decision will be felt by Israel and Jews in Europe alike.
Europe has become a major trading region for Israel. However with the chaos caused by a weak Euro, severe economic recessions in many member countries, rampant unemployment especially amongst the young generation and a general malaise as evidenced in France, it is time to turn our trading efforts eastward. This is exactly what Israel has been doing in recent times. Not only is it unwise to put all our trading eggs in one basket, diversification also reduces the probability of boycotts and economic blackmail.
The idea of submerging national feelings of patriotism to some sort of universal attachment to European togetherness has manifestly failed. Today we are facing a virulent resurgence of age-old prejudices against Jews as well as other minorities, with political parties dedicated to ominous echoes from the recent past poised to take power in several countries. A union of countries in the future with an agenda hostile to Jews and prepared to ban circumcision and Shechita and Kosher food is far more dangerous than individual countries trying to go it alone.
The EU as it has evolved today believes that it has a divine mission to meddle endlessly in our affairs, assert its non-existent right to impose solutions on Israel which will in effect lead to our demise and to punish us with boycotts and labeling if we do not meekly acquiesce. In addition and far more galling the EU provides millions of Euros to the kleptomaniac Palestinian Arab Authority which only this week announced via its Prime Minister that stipends to terrorists who have murdered Israelis and their families will be increased. For good measure he described these terrorists as heroes. Has the EU cut off funding in the face of this? Of course they have not.
In the last few days the EU announced that it was prepared to offer an “unprecedented” package in order to induce a “peace” deal. In other words if bribery can achieve some sort of mythical peace at our expense then no doubt we should grab it. The very notion that more Euros thrown down a black Palestinian-Arab hole can purchase genuine peace while the root problem–hate, delegitimization and a refusal to accept a legal Jewish presence in the region—is totally ignored, merely demonstrates yet again the irrelevance of a union united (except for a few notable exceptions) by only one thing – an unhealthy obsession with the Jewish State and a continuing refusal to recognize the evil intents of those inciting and carrying out terror against Jews.
David Cameron in an appeal to the British Jewish Community asserted that only by the UK remaining in the EU can it thwart unbalanced policies against Israel. This is of course arrant nonsense. The current funding of NGOs which work against Israel continues unabated by UK membership. The continual attempts led by France to force a suicide pact on Israel remain unimpeded by any British membership of the EU. How would that change in the future if “remain” wins?
The free flow across vanished borders of those dedicated to perpetrating terror has already doomed the EU and sealed its long-term fate. That is something British Jews should have thought about when they cast their votes. That and the looming demographic realities should cast serious doubts as to the long-term viability of a union drowning in social unrest, economic stagnation and rising Judeopobia.
Whatever the results of the referendum, the mid to long-term prognosis for this union experiment looks bleak. As I survey a continent soaked in past Jewish blood and suffering I can only be thankful that with all its problems and challenges, Israel remains a haven and island of stability in a world going to pot in more ways than one.
Michael Kuttner is a J-Wire correspondent This article appeared in jwire.com.au on June 24.