A Brexit lesson for Israel 

Tuvia Brodie,

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Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

It's true. At least, as of June 29, 2016, Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU). We don't yet know what exactly that vote means, both for Britain and other EU nations. But for this moment, it means Britain salutes good-bye to the EU.

I don't have much sympathy for the EU. As an Israeli, I tend to judge the EU through the prism of how it treats Israel--and in my opinion, the EU treats Israel abysmally.

For example, the EU applauds anti-Semitic libels ("EU applauds Anti-Semitic libel, then gets rocked by UK vote", israelhayom, June 24, 2016). It passes anti-Israel resolutions (Cynthia Blank "EU passes controversial anti-Israel resolution", arutzsheva, January 18, 2016). It heaps criticism after criticism on Israel ("EU to vote on harsher measures against Israel", January 18, 2016). It joins the UN to single out Israel in an exercise of 'treat-Israel-with-a-double-standard' (Moshe Zeirish, "UNHRC anti-Israel vote joined by EU countries", hamodia, March 30, 2014). It takes an increasingly heavy-handed approach to dealing with Israel (Joseph Conroy, "Leaked EU report calls for tougher action against Israel", newstalk, March 20, 2015). It joins with BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel (Carol Brown, "EU, BDS and U", americanthinker, August 18, 2014).

I grow tired of reading about how the EU pushes its way into Israel's affairs. I grow tired of hearing an arrogant EU tell Israel, 'do this or else'.

For one thing, the EU is not an honest broker. To illustrate the EU's dishonesty, consider how it describes who best exemplifies democracy and human rights--the democratic Israel or the undemocratic Palestinian Authority: it slams Israel and then, with a brazenness that's breathe-taking, hails the Palestinian Authority for its commitment 'to democracy and human rights'--a bald-faced misnomer if there ever was one (Raphael Ahrens, "Israel summons EU envoy over blatantly one-sided declaration", timesofisrael, June 16, 2016).

I do not cheer for the EU. When the EU gets hammered (as it did with this UK vote), I find it difficult to sympathize with the EU's plight.

Has the EU gotten its comeuppance with this Brexit? I don't know. We'll have to wait on that question--perhaps a year, maybe longer--to see how this Brexit vote unfolds. For now, however, I can understand why Britain would choose to reject the EU: overbearing regulations, laws and standards.

To illustrate this point, I show you a word-picture. I found this picture at powerline. It was part of an essay by Steven Hayward, titled, "Brexit week in pictures", June 28, 2016).

I don't know if the EU has actually published 26,911 pages of regulations regarding the sale of  cabbages. But I have seen that the EU has issued 11,547 regulations, 1,842 directives, some 40,000 legal decisions and more than 60,000 standards, all of which impact how things are made, sold, used, consumed and advertised ("Number of laws", euABC.com, May 2015).

Here are some examples of EU requirements, standards and laws that rival the madness of the cabbage rules above (see, Rebecca Perring, "Revealed: the Eu's top ten pointless decisions the UK can now get rid of", express, June 25, 2016):

-bananas must be free of abnormal curvature;

-cucumbers are to be 'practically straight';

-it is illegal to eat your pet horse;

-it is illegal to advertise that water fights dehydration;

-it is illegal to sells prunes claiming they assist bowel movements;

-people with diabetes are unfit to drive a vehicle;

-eggs cannot be sold by the dozen;

The EU has certainly inserted itself into Europe's businesses. It has made itself the sole arbiter over of how the British live their lives. It takes the word, "intrusive", to  a new level of absurdity.

Between 2010-2013, the EU produced 3,600 new laws containing 13 million words for UK businesses to digest (Daniel Martin, "3,600 new laws in three years as EU strangles UK firms: Brussels's 'addiction' to red tape laid bare as it's revealed it would take 92 DAYS to read all the regulations", dailymail, October 13, 2013). Many groan under the weight of such intrusiveness.

The Brexit vote teaches us a lesson. It demonstrates that Israel isn't the only country that grows tired of arrogant, unelected bureaucrats telling people what they must do, 'or else'. Brexit teaches Israel that, when an economic power repeatedly tells a nation to 'do this or else', it is both moral and proper to redefine (at the very least) one's business relationship with that power.

Israel should learn this lesson. It should redefine how it 'relates' to the EU. It should do that now.