Sunday, June 05, 2005

Draining the swamp of hatred for America in Europe

Douglas Davis has an interesting take on the results of the French and Dutch referendums:
Europe is on the cusp of the sort of sea change that occurs once in a generation, and that change could have far-reaching implications, draining the swamp of hatred for America and contempt for Israel that has been allowed to infuse the culture of Brussels.
THE POLITICIANS who are most likely be leading these key states within two years are unequivocal Atlanticists. They are likely to go at least some way toward healing the damage caused by the pacifist, secularist, post-national trend that has been slavishly followed by Chirac and his German understudy, Gerhard Schroeder. These are, after all, precisely the characteristics that make America and Israel anathema to Europe....
In Britain, Blair will likely be succeeded by long-time rival and Treasury supremo Gordon Brown, who has delivered a thriving economy with record low unemployment and interest rates. He is considered an Atlanticist (not only because he has a holiday home in Hyannis Port) and is thought to share Blair's warm regard for Israel....
In France, Chirac is likely to be succeeded by either former prime minister Laurent Fabius, the most senior socialist to oppose the constitution, or by Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently seized the leadership of the party Chirac created as a vehicle for his political career. Sarkozy is inclined toward the US and advocates modernization and reform. (It is interesting to note that, at the heart of European anti-Semitism, both Fabius and Sarkozy are technically Jewish.)
But the most interesting change of all could come in Germany, where a former East German scientist, Angela Merkel, is likely to emerge from September's election as the first female chancellor. Known as the "Iron Maiden," she supports America's intervention in Iraq and has strong feelings about Israel.
"We're not 'even-handed' over the Middle East," she told an influential gathering in Berlin recently. "We're not neutral. We're pro-Israel. And we do not think it is enough just to say that. We must demonstrate, every day, that we support the Jewish state."
The problem is that the citizens of France, for example, were clearly voting against an 'inclination toward the US,' and I'd wager that much of Europe feels the same. These leaders will be voted in despite, not because, of their stance towards Israel and the US.

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