Wednesday, August 21, 2002

This interview with Harry Kney-Tal, who is completing his term as Israel's ambassador to the EU, covers familiar ground regarding the European faith in negotiated solutions and the good nature of the Palestinians, and also makes a few new points....

One is that when Europeans hear the word "terrorism", they recall the IRA or the Basque ETA in Spain - purposeless violence against civilians of the sort practiced by Palestinians is unfathomable to them.

Kney-Tal says that the EU is specifically proud that it enabled the PA to survive in the face of Israeli economic pressure, and that they think that their distance from the situation here gives them an objectivity which we Israelis lack. The EU was in a state of denial after the Camp David/Taba talks floundered, and were ecstatic when former Clinton advisor Robert Malley published his flimsy attempt to split the blame.

Kney-Tal says that the new generation of Western European leaders "grew up" on the "Palestinian narrative". The "Palestinian narrative" is a term used by use to denote the Palestinians' mythological version of their history; in the Palestinian narrative, most problems are attributable to the Jews who came from nowhere and ejected them from their land, to which they will eventually return.

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