Hypothetically, the EU’s current state of affairs is ideal for Israel in terms of its plans to annex the Jordan Valley and settlement clusters this summer, but the EU’s many ills should not blind Israel: It has always found a way to align against the Jewish state.
That could make it all the more dangerous to Israel
By Eldad Beck, ISRAEL HAYOM
Belgium, whose capital city Brussels is also the capital of the European Union, aptly reflects the difficult situation in which the EU finds itself, and which has only become more desperate in the wake of the coronavirus. With nearly 7,000 dead since the onset of the pandemic, the country of 11.5 million people has the worst mortality rate in the world in relation to its population size.
Worse than the US, Italy, and Spain.
Over the past two weeks, Belgium’s daily coronavirus death toll is similar – often higher – than Israel’s total coronavirus death toll since the beginning of the crisis. The heart of Europe is sick, very sick.
The reasons the coronavirus is ravaging Belgium are manifold. First among them: The collapse of the country’s federal system of government in recent years. The nursing homes, which were entirely unprepared to cope with an emergency health situation, became “houses of death.” This systematic failure and the consequent chaos led the authorities in Belgium to respond far too late an ineffectively to the pandemic. Additionally, Belgium is a primary transport hub in Europe, a fact that helped the virus spread.
Belgium’s systematic failure is reflected in the EU’s approach to the pandemic: A misunderstanding of the danger, slow responses, and lack of coordination between the various bodies.
The EU failed miserably in coping with the pandemic in its early stages and is now facing the next test, which could prove fateful – preparing for the challenges posed by the harsh new economic and social reality in several leading EU countries, chief among them France, Italy, and Spain, with countries such as Belgium alongside them.
Hypothetically, the EU’s preoccupation with its own current state of affairs should make it less inclined to interfere with Israel’s affairs. Increasing Israel’s ability to carry out its plans to annex the Jordan Valley and settlement clusters this summer, in accordance with the Trump administration’s “deal of the century.”
However, Israel should not become complacent: In its toughest moments, the EU – mainly its central axis of Germany and France – has always found a way to fall in line against Israel. We can add two more key countries to this list – Italy and Spain – in which leftist and anti-Israel governments have risen to power.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become quite adept in recent years at bypassing the hostility of European bureaucracy, mainly from the EU’s foreign office, through direct contacts with the various blocs.