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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Eurabia - Interview with Bat Ya'or


Interview with Bat Ye'or


Excerpt from FrontPage interview:

FP: Tell us about the Prodi project where Tariq Ramadan and others have collaborated.

Bat Ye'or: Prodi's project is the fulfillment of Eurabia. It is called the "Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area."

It was requested by Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission, and accepted at the Sixth Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Naples on 2-3 December 2003. It represents a strategy for closer Euro-Arab symbiosis to be implemented by a Foundation that will control, direct and monitor it. Last May the European ministers of foreign affairs accepted the creation of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures with its seat in Alexandria, Egypt. Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, murdered by an insane man, was a key advocate of the Palestinian cause and the boycott of Israel. Lindh was known for her criticism of Israeli and American policies of self-defense against terror. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was a close friend, calling her a "true European."



The Foundation will endeavor through numerous means to reinforce links of mutuality, solidarity and "togetherness" between the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean, that is, Europe and the Arab countries. The authors of the project carefully avoid such characterizations since -- in the spirit of Edward Said -- they are judged anathema and racist. This is explained in the report's text, but I use them for clarification. It is the Eurabian context, representing a totally anti-American and anti-Zionist culture and policy, that explains the strong reaction against the war in Iraq -- itself integrated into the war against Islamic terrorism. A terrorism that Eurabia has denied, blaming Israel's "injustice and occupation" and America's "arrogance" instead. Eurabia has transformed Islamic terrorism into a cliche: "America is the problem" in order to consolidate the web of alliances that support its whole geostrategy.



FP: What is the significance of Solana's declaration?



Bat Ye'or: Solana is strongly implicated in the EU Arabophile and pro-Palestinian policy conducted intensively under Prodi as a European self-protective reaction to the American war against terror. If one examines the EC/EU declarations since 1977 on the Arab-Israeli conflict, one notices that they espouse Arab League decisions and positions: the 1949 armistice lines imposed on Israel, although never recognized as international boundaries; the creation on those boundaries of a Palestinian state not mentioned by UN resolution 242; the acknowledgement of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and of Arafat as its leader, with the obligation for Israel to negotiate exclusively with him; and initially the refusal of separate peace treaties. The EU adopted all these Arab League requests as well as repeated threats of economic and cultural boycott against Israel, constantly demanded by the Europeans' close Arab allies and their powerful lobby, the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation. On 3 March 2004, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, when asked about U.S. proposals to requested democratic reforms in Arab states, declared:



"The peace process always has to be at the center of whatever initiative is in the field. . . ­Any idea about (reform of) nations would have to be in parallel with putting a priority on the resolution of the peace process, otherwise it will be very difficult to have success." (Reuters, "Solana: Mideast peace vital for Arab reforms"; see also Neil MacFarquhar "Arab states start plan of their own Mideast", International Herald Tribune, March 4, 2004.)



Solana just repeated the opinion of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after his meeting with him. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa shared this opinion and refused to consider any reforms in Arab countries before the settlement of the Arab-Palestinian conflict¨Da settlement whose overall conditions imply Israel's destruction. Hence, any democratization and change of Arab societies demanded by the West are linked by the Arabs to its participation in Israel's demise. This link was rejected by Senior U.S. State Department official Marc Grossman when visiting Cairo on 2 March 2004. He said that the democracy plan should not depend on a settlement of the Middle East conflict. But Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Maher, answered him:



"Egypt's position is that one of the basic obstacles to the reform process is the continuation of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the Arab people."



According to Reuters, Amr Moussa, speaking at the opening session of a regular ministerial meeting, declared:



"The Palestinian cause...is the key to stability or instability in the region, and this issue will continue to influence in all its elements the development of the Arab region until a just solution is reached."



Eurabian notables, whether Chirac, de Villepin, Solana, Prodi, or others, have continuously stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause for world peace, as if more European vilification of Israel would change anything in the global jihad waged in the US, in Asia, and from Africa to Chechnya the latest horrendous tragedy in Ossetia is but one example. In such a view, Israel's very existence, not this genocidal jihadist drive, is a threat to peace. The Euro-Arab linkage of Arab/Islamic reforms to Israel's stand is spurious and only demonstrates, once more, Europe's subservience to Arab policy. Numerous Arab and Islamic Summits have imposed the centrality of their Palestinian policy on the world and requested that all political problems should be subordinated to it. The EU likewise.