As astonishing it is, this fact remained unnoticed. The pandemic has divided the European continent into two parts: one - rich Eurabia which plunged into chaos, and second - relatively poor Eastern Europe and the Balkans which withstood the onslaught.
Is it a coincidence or, on the contrary, the metaphysics of History? The former is as hostile to Israel, just as the latter is friendly to it. An incomprehensible pattern: the haters of the Jews are dying in agony while God is protecting the allies and intercessors from adversity?
The West leaves the arena of history
The current pandemic has highlighted the obvious. The glowing shell of modern Western civilization hides a frightened void - this is a society of substantial emptiness according to Ulrich Beck. Infantilism, unthinkable frivolity, ineffective bureaucracy, mediocre leadership, ridiculous clichés and the habit of empty demagoguery led to total failure in the fight against a not so terrible disease.
America is trying to resist these deadly trends, but leftist paranoia threatens to plunge the country into chaos and the turmoil of civil conflict. Regardless of how friendly Trump is to the Jews and Israel, America is leaving both the Great Game and the Middle East. The Iraqi and then Syrian Kurds, abandoned to their fate, is sad evidence of this. Israel will barely be able to rely on its ally, and in the worst case, America's next governments will ultimately join the chorus of its haters.
The coronavirus has also shown that the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes (except Iran) - China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar - were much more successful in confronting the pandemic. And this too is symptomatic.
The colossal Eurasian world revisits the dark past. Old-new empires that re-enter the arena are greedy, vicious and merciless. The Russian Tsar, the Chinese Emperor, the Turkish Sultan are vivid ominous reality. By fomenting extreme nationalism, strewing flowers on the pedestals of their tyrants, glorifying the predatory wars of the past, they create an atmosphere of patriotic psychosis and torment neighboring states and nations. Their appetite comes with eating ...
Who is the next victim of the Russian tsar? The Baltic countries? Georgia or Ukraine again? Poland? Well, today, Putin is in favor of Jews, but his sympathies are fluctuating like the fates of the Russian tsars.
We are witnessing the increasing appetite of the Turkish Sultan. A Greek proverb says: “When a Turk speaks about peace, there will be war”. Erdogan has been relentlessly talking about peace.
Fanatical Iran is eager to restore the victorious Persian Empire under the Shiite crescent. Arabs crave the Caliphate's rebirth, and we will certainly see new attempts to act upon it.
The Chinese communist leader turned himself into the lifelong emperor of "Celestial Empire." With patience and cunning, China wraps, suffocates, and swallows the world like a giant python. Mighty Asian tyranny, armed with cutting-edge technological advances, soars over the world.
"Shield of Europe"
All this is bad news for Israel, however there is good news as well.
The coronavirus has demonstrated that Eastern Europe and the Balkans proved to be far more resilient to the challenges of modern times. There countries are more prudent and reasonable, and they are the friendliest to Israel in Europe.
The reasons for this sympathy lie right on the surface.
Austria, the Visegrad Group, Greece and Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, casting aside previous divisions and prejudices, like Israel, confront predatory Muslim hordes, Turkey and Russian tsars in the East, and a culture of self-destruction in the West.
Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland have refused to sign the suicidal UN Migration Plan.
The worldview of these countries is based on their pride in European culture; the "Judeo-Christian" tradition, which Victor Orban and Milos Zeman often emphasize. It is also based on the rejection of destructive globalism; on the living historical memory that their western neighbors lost.
They did not forget about the Turkish armies that once swamped Europe and stood at the gates of Vienna, nor about cruel Russian Tsars; violent Islamization in the Balkans; about the Nazis and the Communists, who divided the political map from Oder to Vistula. They have powerful immunity from the totalitarian ideologies of the last century that perversely subjugated the short-memoried rest of Europe and North America.
Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania are the countries that refused to support Josep Borrell's threats to Israel. There was not a single country (!) of Eastern and Central Europe (except of course, Germany) among the 11 EU countries that condemned plans for the annexation of the Jordan Valley and Gush Katif. According to Reuters, "France (with the support of Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg) is urging its EU partners to consider threatening Israel with a tough response if it goes ahead with a de facto annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, … but Israel’s closest allies such as Hungary and the Czech Republic could still block even preparatory work."
All those countries are particularly interested in an alliance with Israel - in its energy resources that can end dependence on unpredictable Russia and the Middle East, in its high-tech and in military technologies. They are eminently friendly to Jews and have a sincere sympathy for Israel, oppose the BDS movement, are proud of their implacability to anti-Semitism, support Israel in international forums.
Austria acts in this union as the natural leader - due to economic strength, political authority and historical tradition. Sebastian Kurtz is a charismatic and energetic ruler, and he is unusually friendly to the Jewish State. Kurtz became the first head of government to congratulate Netanyahu on his victory. He thanked Netanyahu for "waking him up" and alerting him of the threat of a pandemic. He proposed a "tourist union", free from the pandemic, which includes Israel, Czech republic, Greece and Cyprus.
We can talk today (it was Ben-Gurion’s dream once, wasn't it?) about the union of ancient and old great civilizations: the Jewish state, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and the revived Hapsburg empire with its center in Vienna, including centers of medieval learning and tolerance such as Prague and Krakow. Other countries, like the Baltic and Ukraine, and some influential parties, primarily the Italian Northern League, adjoin this union.
The Hapsburg Empire, which at one time extended from Krakow to Dalmatia, and from Northern Italy to Galicia, was once called the "shield of Europe". It is being reborn into a new modern shape and can become our reliable partner in the face of future cataclysms.
Hostages of Myths
Now we arrive at a bitter truth: the inability of our elite to see political realities and prospects, and the influence of old and misleading myths. On the one hand, we observe a type of ridiculous admiration for the Western European powers (especially, by the way, Germany) with their extremely cynical and hypocritical position.Formally declaring their support for Israel and condemning the Holocaust, the Germans are doing everything for the Holocaust to repeat itself.
On the other hand, Israel treats the countries of Central and Eastern Europe scornfully and arrogantly, at best; or constantly rubbing salt in the wounds of the past, at worst, as Katz did regarding Poland. (And unfortunately practically all of Israel establishment unanimously supported him).
We forget that all these states, although then antisemitic, were occupied, like Poland, or, thanks to the stupidity and cowardice of the West, turned by the Nazis into satellites. We forget that they were forced to survive, sandwiched between two monsters. We forget that the Second World War and the time before it was a tragedy not only for Jews, but for many nations of Eastern Europe. Soviet occupiers and Nazis massacred Poles; Stalin organized the Holodomor in Ukraine and ethnic cleansing in the Baltic countries and Moldova (historical part of Romania); Sudeten Germans ridiculed Czechs. The history of these nations is excruciating, full of bitterness and suffering. We should take it all into account so that we don’t lose those willing to be on our side. That is political wisdom.
One of my great-grandmothers was murdered in 1941 in the Ukrainian city of Sumy, and the second one managed to escape from Latvia with the family in the nick of time - the Nazis and the West, who raised the monster, are initially at fault for this. The Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians were also murdered, but this was inevitable because the criminal regime loosens the hands of bandits, sadists and fanatics. We should remember people like Jan Karski, remember the Żegota organization, which saved between 8,5 to 28 thousand Jews; remember the Polish government in exile, which encouraged the silent West to protect Jews; that there were about 6700 Polish “righteous people” (almost twice as much as in France).
We should not ask those who stand with us for constant justification: Salvini - because he allegedly sympathizes with Mussolini, Kurtz - because he supports nationalists, Orban – because he allowed the installation of a monument to Horthy somewhere, Baltic nations – for the culpability of the crimes of the Nazis, Romanians – because they do not condemn Antonescu enough and finally, Ukrainians – because of persisting nationalist sentiments.
By engaging in the wars of the past, without seeing the present and future, we risk being left alone with a bunch of predators and with “friends” who are far worse than our obvious enemies.
Alexander Maistrovoy is the author of “Agony of Hercules or a Farewell to Democracy (Notes of a Stranger)”, Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.