Recent events in the Middle East continue to concern not only politicians, but average citizens, too. Recently, in Europe a kind of demarcation could be observed between opponents and supporters of Israel’s activities in Palestinian territories. April 10, European Parliament passed a resolution demanding to stop trade contracts between US member countries and Israel as a protest against occupation of the Palestinian territories. The decision was made in hot discussions: 269 deputies supported the document, while 208 were against it, and 22 parliamentarians abstained from voting. The document demands to immediately stop all European agreements about trade and cooperation with Israel. The European Parliament also called to embargo on arm supplies to Israel and Palestine, which, according to the document’s authors, should put an end to the armed conflicts. Despite that the document is not necessary for keeping, it is expected to strengthen pressure upon EU foreign ministers, who will gather for a special sitting on April 15, to consider the question about possible sanctions against Israel. It is significant that the sanctions were mainly supported by leftist parities – socialist, social-democrats, and the green. While representatives of rightist forces were against this resolution. Though, it does not mean that all conservators are ready to fully support Israel. For example, French President Jaque Chirac tries to use the situation in the Middle East in his pre-election campaign. On Wednesday, he visited a mosque in a Paris suburb. The gesture seems to be aimed at getting support of the numerous Arab community in France. Though, this was the first time, when the French leader visited the mosque. All the more, during a pre-election campaign. And this is at the time, when attacks on Jews have become to often in France. In particular, there are even cases of beating children and arsons of synagogues. Though, among Europeans, there are many people who support Israel. At a meeting in support of Israelis in Frankfurt, German internal minister Otto Schili said that an end should be put to terror and bloodshed as soon as possible. Otherwise, the minister said, this would have heavy consequences for the whole world. While in Madrid, a demonstration was carried out in support of Palestinians, whose participants demanded from Israel to immediately withdraw its troops from the Palestinian territories. While the United States, according to the demonstrators, to openly support Israel. In general, the fact could be established that most of Europeans (who are not indifferent to the events in the Middle East) take the part of Palestinians. Leading bodies of the European Union have the same position. While at the same time, reports about suicide terrorists appear almost every day. It looks like in opinion of both European politicians and average citizens, Arabs are the victim of Israel’s aggression. And how would Europeans act, if Arab bombs are exploded in European streets? Apropos, reserved reaction of the United States to the conflict could be mostly explained with the fact that the 11 September terrorist acts were organized by Arabs. The US authorities seem to be unable to get rid of certain antipathy they feel towards Arabs. Tragedies like that are hard to forget.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Tranalated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/11/39565.html