A Dec. 15, 2009 piece by former European Union Commissioner Chris Patten expressed support for EU President Carl Bildt’s pro-Palestinian policy — with the caveat that it did not go far enough. Patten wrote that “seemingly on instructions from Israel’s foreign ministry Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania fought to dilute the original text.” Evidently, there was no possibility, in Patten’s view, that these nations simply held a view of events and issues related to Israel less negative than his. Rather they must be receiving “instructions.” Nor was any proof provided for his insinuating a nefarious Jewish influence on European governments.
For Patten, the antagonism towards Israel is personal. As the official responsible for handing over billions of Euros to the notoriously corrupt Palestinian Authority, the lack of positive results clearly upsets him. Rather than admit this failure is due to endemic corruption among Palestinian officials, Patten instead shifts blame onto Israel, claiming: “The money I spent in Palestine…. has drained away into the blood-soaked sand.” He further alleges the EU has become the “paymaster for [Israeli] intransigence and disproportionate force.”
In fact, it is not Israel but the Palestinian leadership that is intransigent, refusing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even as it continues to receive an enormous EU subsidy. As for the money draining away, it was none other than External Affairs Commissioner Patten who blocked an investigation on the misuse of EU funds by the Palestinian Authority, stymying any attempt to trace whether funds ended up in terrorist hands.
Patten’s discussion of the status of Jerusalem is similarly unbalanced. He dismisses Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, while decreeing the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem a capital of the future Palestinian state. In contrast, acceptance of Israel’s sovereignty over the western neighborhoods of Jerusalem is ambiguously framed, despite continuous Jewish control since 1948. The New Republic observed that the Financial Times cannot even get itself to identify that the Israeli government is located in Jerusalem, opting instead to incorrectly call it the”government in Tel Aviv.”
Following a recognized pattern of employing Jewish defamers of Israel to buttress and justify anti-Israel bias, the Financial Times solicited columns from two Jewish writers notorious for their extreme anti-Israel rhetoric. On Dec. 8, an Op-Ed by self-proclaimed anti-Zionist Tony Judt urged American Jews to cut off their charitable support to Israel. Judt devoted much of his column to a specious book by French History professor Shlomo Sand contending that there is no such thing as a Jewish nation and that Jews have no historical ties to Israel.
On Feb. 24, 2010, another Jewish critic of Israel, the Arab-funded Henry Siegman, presented his familiar spiel about Israel allegedly becoming an apartheid state in need of harsh punitive measures.
Discussion about the role of Palestinians in thwarting peace finds no place in the pages of the Financial Times. For example, there is nothing about the pervasive official and societal anti-Jewish incitement by Palestinians, or about the problem presented by Palestinian teachers, writers and leaders who educate their youth to value “martyrs” and “martyrdom” — issues critical to the understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, columns assault the legitimacy of the Jewish state and express resentment of Israel’s resolute action against those who threaten it.
On Feb. 26, just two days after Siegman labelled Israel a racist state, an incensed James MacKintosh described the assassination of Hamas weapons trafficker, Mahmoud Mabouh, allegedly by Israel. MacKintosh wrote:
If “Israel is at war with the Palestinians or at least the militant groups, in which case fair enough to kill them – but they should not be labeled as terrorists, if it is a war, or treated as terrorists by other states; or it isn’t a war, in which case extra-judicial killing is just another word for state sponsored murder, reducing Israel to the level of the terrorists.”
Untangling Mr. MacKintosh’s Catch-22 logic, a terrorist ceases to be a terrorist when pursued or killed by Israel. If Israel pursues a terrorist in the context of a war, the terrorist becomes a legitimate combatant. But if Israel pursues a terrorist outside the context of a war, the terrorist becomes a victim of Israel’s state-sponsored “murder.” One can only wonder how this logic might be applied to the British and American campaign against Osama Bin Laden and his al-Quaida compatriots.