Last week, Benyamin Netanyahu went to Europe with a mission: to convince Frau Merkel, Monsieur Macron and Mrs. May that the nuclear deal they have signed with Iran is an existential threat to Israel and the whole Middle East.
Netanyahu is a consummate speaker so he certainly moved Mrs. May with reminiscences of Churchill’s war on appeasement; Frau Merkel with reflections on German unrepayable debts to the Jewish people; and Monsieur Macron with the values of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.
The prospect of Israel vanishing from the pages of history is actually an attractive prospect for many Europeans who see Israel as a stain on their continent’s conscience.
Yet Netanyahu returned empty-handed. Aside from marginal concessions regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency checking Iran’s nuclear archives, none of the leaders showed any real sympathy or concern for the looming nuclear threat to Israel. In other words, these leaders showed concrete indifference towards a second Jewish Holocaust in the making.
Netanyahu failed because he believed that European leaders can be persuaded to care about Jews, about Israel, about human rights in the Middle East. In reality, Frau Merkel, Monsieur Macron and Mrs. May are the leaders of a continent that will never forgive the Jews for the Holocaust. The prospect of Israel vanishing from the pages of history is actually an attractive prospect for many Europeans who see Israel as a stain on their continent’s conscience.
Israel must learn from the mistakes of the past. Instead of groveling to Europeans for compassion and empathy it should send the discreet but unmistakable message that for every nuclear missile that in the future hits Israel from Iran, Israel will fire three towards the nations that made Iran’s nuclear attack possible.
This message may sound radical, but it will probably work. Indeed, if in 1943 the Allies had threatened to execute every German general after the war unless the genocide of Jews was stopped, Hungarian Jewry could have been saved from the Holocaust.
Northern European leaders are the spineless leaders of pampered populations hostile to Israel. The only way to rouse them from their slumber is to convince them that the future of Europe is intricately tied to the future of Israel. As long as European leaders think they can betray Israel with impunity they will do so.
That is the reason these leaders should know that their continent will also pay a heavy price for any reckless appeasement of Iran.