Maariv: Minister Ben Eliezer shaken by hostility to Israel in EU, OECD membership notwithstanding
Excerpt from column, Ben Caspit, Maariv Friday Political Supplement, May 14 2010 [page 2]
Speaking of bulldozers, [Benyamin] Fuad Ben Eliezer was in Brussels last week, on a one-day working trip, including meetings with many senior European officials from the EU and the European Parliament. Fuad was shocked. On the outside, everything is fine. The OECD, which decided to admit Israel into its ranks, the agreement Fuad signed with the EU Commission about selling Israeli pharmaceuticals in the continent and more. But beneath the surface, the situation is bad.
A senior EU official told Fuad, in a private conversation, the following: “You just signed an agreement, and that’s nice, but I don’t think the European Parliament is going to ratify it. Israel is in the worst situation it has ever been in vis-à-vis the world. They just hate you.” In other meanings Fuad had with senior officials identified as friends of Israel he got the same message. We are sick of Israel, stop carrying on about the Iranian bomb as long as you don’t put an end to your conflict with the Palestinians. People have no patience left for Israel. Your friends are disappearing or going underground, your enemies are multiplying. Fuad took it to heart. “There are attempts in the world to delegitimize us,” he said. “They treat us the way they treat Iran. Our legitimacy is fragile and only a real attempt to reach an agreement with the Palestinians will repair it.”