Europe's "Salonistas" Embrace Terror

Michael Freund,

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Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (, a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

Even when the moral calculus is clear-cut and simple, Europe still just doesn't get it.

Israel may be fighting a war of self-defense against Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists, who resort to kidnappings, rocket attacks and suicide bombings against innocent civilians, but that hasn't stopped the "salonistas" of Europe from coming down hard against the Jewish state.

But in what can only be described as a new low - even by European standards - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero yesterday openly identified with Israel's enemies, even as Katyusha rockets were raining down on Haifa, Tiberias and Nazareth.

Speaking at something called the Festival of Socialist Youth (didn't the Soviet Union disappear over 15 years ago?), Zapatero denounced Israel and accused it of using "abusive force" before draping a keffiyeh decorated with a Palestinian flag around his neck (see the photo below).

Zapatero's act was morally obscene – for a European leader to do such a thing at a time when Israel is battling terrorism only sends an unpardonable message of support and encouragement to the terrorists.

It becomes even more absurd when one considers that Spain itself has suffered from Islamist fundamentalist terror. Has Mr. Zapatero forgotten the horrific March 11, 2004 terror attacks in Madrid, which were carried out by Al-Qaeda? Why are Hamas and Hizbullah murderers any different?

Perhaps Zapatero thinks that by identifying with the "cause" of Hamas and Hizbullah, he can spare his own country from suffering additional Islamist-inspired attacks.

Obviously, he has failed to learn one of the central lessons of the post-September 11 world: namely, that as far as the fanatics are concerned, all of the West are "infidels".

Even those who speak Spanish.