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(Based on an intervention at the discussion on the Resolution on the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, proposed by the British Liberal Democrats and passed overwhelmingly in a reconciled version by the  Executive Committee of Liberal International)

The Gaza Strip

I am always touched when I hear Europeans respond to criticism of Israel. Even when, as today, they know Israel has done something naughty, they bend over backwards to make it clear that their criticism of any action is not a criticism of Israel itself.

This is perfectly understandable, given the appalling treatment by many European countries of Jews, not only during the Second World War, but over hundreds of years previously. It is necessary to remember all that, and we should not discourage the sense of guilt European nations feel and their determination to keep alive their memory of the horrors they once perpetrated.

However, what is immensely sad is that, in remembering this, they seem determined to forget other horrors they perpetrated against other peoples. They appear to have wiped out of their collective memory the fact that much of the suffering the Middle East is going through now arose from the arbitrary divisions made after the First World by some European countries determined to uphold their own selfish interests.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

June 2010
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