News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorisraeldissent — Viewing Item

Former spanish pm says europe supports palestinians

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Spain's ex-PM to Israel: Ignore Europe
Herb Keinon, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 6, 2005

Israel need not pay much attention to Europe, which is using its Middle East policy to separate itself from the US, has a tendency toward appeasement and is largely pro-Palestinian, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar told The Jerusalem Post Monday.

"Europe likes appeasement very much; this is one of the most important differences between us and the States," Aznar said in an interview on the Bar-Ilan University campus. "Europeans don't like any problems. They prefer appeasement."

The strongly pro-American Aznar, who bucked public sentiment in Spain and backed US President George W. Bush's war in Iraq, served as prime minister from 1996-2004. He is currently in the country for Bar-Ilan's jubilee celebration, at which he will receive an honorary doctorate on Tuesday.

Aznar said Europe had no chance of independently impacting on the situation in the Middle East and would be wise to work closely with the US.
"Do we Europeans have the capacity to change the situation and influence this area? The answer is no," he said.

Aznar said that European policy was "not favorable to Israel," and that different political leaders in Europe used the Middle East question as a way to establish a different identity from the US.

"In Europe, Israel is not very popular, not only this government, all governments," he said. "Most Europeans support the Palestinian cause. Europeans sincerely wish for a peace agreement and support the peace process, but the reality is that the peace process is closed. At this moment I think that Europe should work closely with the States, because that is the only opportunity to change the region."

Asked if Israel should, as a result, pay attention to the US, but not necessarily to Europe, Aznar succinctly replied: "Certainly." He said that the French and Dutch rejection of the EU constitution last week provided the EU a good opportunity to reform its polices and move away from the isolationist, anti-Americanism that he said defined much of its foreign policy.

On the Middle East, he said, "The Europeans are of two minds. One is to work close with the States, and the other is to make many trips here, give many interviews, come up with many initiatives, but without results. The only possible way to make something work is to work closely with the US."

Aznar interpreted the French and Dutch rejection of the EU Constitution as an indication of "a lack of trust of Europeans in the current leadership of Europe." He said it was also a vote for a closer alliance with the US.

Aznar, whose Popular Party lost the elections in the spring of 2004 following the deadly Madrid train bombings, took a strong position against Hamas and those voices in Europe calling for a softening of the EU's position toward it.

"For me Hamas has always been a terrorist group," he said, adding that it is the Palestinian Authority's responsibility to deal with the organization.

While Aznar, when in office, was considered one of Israel's closest friends in the EU, Spanish public opinion and the Spanish media are considered by some in the Foreign Ministry as among the most unfavorable in Europe.

Asked to explain this phenomenon, Aznar said that "the situation is improving." He attributed the negative image of Israel in Spain to the fact that the countries did not establish diplomatic ties until 1986.

"It is very difficult to have a good image without diplomatic relations. It is true in general that the majority of Spain supports the Palestinians, but this position has changed over the last few years, and is not as strong as it was," he said.

"For many people in Europe, when they watch television and see the image of the democratically elected prime minister of Israel, for them the image is that of an autocrat. But when they see the image of an Islamic elected prime minister, they see someone they want to engage in dialogue."

Asked to explain the phenomenon, Aznar replied: "This is Europe."

150 thousand israelis rally for gaza exit { May 16 2004 }
27 israeli pilots refuse bomb civilians
Aglicans call for israel sanctions { September 24 2004 }
Albert einsert calls israel fascist state
Amnesty accuses israel of rights abuses impunity
Amnesty accuses warcrimes { November 4 2002 }
Anna nicole smith
Anti israeli dress [jpg]
Anti israeli dress { September 19 2002 }
Arab priest calls for christian bombers { January 14 2003 }
Auschwitz visitors with israeli flag verbally assaulted { August 10 2004 }
Boycott [jpg]
British workers union to boycott israeli goods
Britons palestinians { April 24 2002 }
Britons rank israel worst country
Buchanan says arabs have a point { January 16 2006 }
Bush administration objects to israeli purchase { March 23 2006 }
Bush letter criticizes { October 14 2002 }
Bush pullout { May 2 2002 }
Christendom zionist
Christian letter
Christians ashamed
Church leaders israelis tightening
Courage to refuse
Critics on campuses
Desmond israel { April 29 2002 }
Desmond tutu { October 17 2002 }
Dublin palestinian
Elite israeli troops refuse to serve in territories { December 22 2003 }
Eu adds duties to settlement products { November 26 2003 }
Eu embarrased as poll labels israel biggest threat
Europeans distrust of israel { January 30 2005 }
Filipino nonukes group hails release of israeli whistleblower { April 21 2004 }
Former spanish pm says europe supports palestinians
Invisible enemy
Israel maybe guilty warcrimes { November 1 2000 }
Israel releases british journalist on nuclear story
Israeli ambassador destroys sweden museum exhibit { January 17 2004 }
Israeli sees WWII similarities { May 24 2004 }
Israeli teens oppose
Israelis fear arrests { November 12 2002 }
Israelis refuse wp { January 29 2002 }
Isreal and US top worst image worldwide
Its_The_Occupation_Stupid [jpg]
Jews oust hilliard { June 26 2002 }
July 18 israeli consulate protest ny [jpg]
Mitchell report cnn
Mitchell report { December 2 2001 }
Mordechai vanunu arrested again
Nixon planned to go after israelis { May 27 2004 }
Nuclear whistleblower restricted from leaving israel
Oliver stone
Ousted rep hilliard
Paris airport palestine { July 5 2002 }
Pope humilated
Pope peace
Prime minister daughter active for israeli peace
Pro israel group makes video attacking professor { April 4 2005 }
Refuse to fight
Settlers willing relocate
Shark [jpg]
Step down
Sting sings
Target nonviolence { August 14 2002 }
Telaviv protest
Telephone bomb threat follows campus debate
Un chastises
Unpopular { July 30 2002 }
Us rabbis protest home demolition policies { January 16 2004 }
US vetoes UN condemnation of israel gaza strikes { October 2006 }
Vanunu israeli nuclear whistleblower is released
War wont bring economic salvation { May 6 2003 }
Washington post questions israeli lobby power { July 16 2006 }
Withdraw { April 4 2002 }

Files Listed: 76


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple