I am making this post because not having one in the blog would allow people to call me an “ισαποστάκια”. In my country this is a derogatory term meaning someone that does not take a clear stance, a clear position in an argument or a demanding situation. It implies a person who has ulterior motives (to attach themselves to the winning party when there is a clear winner), or one who is too lazy to think for themselves, does not want to bother, and often comes up saying “the truth is in the middle” never taking sides.
In many cases, not having an opinion is expected and is even approved, but this is certainly not the case when let’s say, a legislation is going to affect your life or your freedoms, as it is happening today in Europe with the Chat Control Law, or the two ‘rather important’ wars happening in our neighborhood, in Ukraine and in Palestine. Or in any war for that matter.
The main feeling I get from the current situation is Disappointment with a capital D. I am utterly disappointed in Europe. Europe is actually not a bad place to be in, compared with the rest of the world, don’t get me wrong. Alas, it is way below what it could have been. There is no vision in Europe anymore. There was vision at first, when Europe with consensus for all important matters was conceived. A vision of the advancement of all members. Non member states saw the benefits of a good thing and asked to join, and Europe grew. Europe today appears timid, not a leader any more -and when leading, leading backwards or finding new ways to be more conservative at best- and manipulated easily by greater forces. Europe is no big player in the scene…
I am not doing a political analysis here. I don’t trust my English for that, and even in my native tongue I don’t have the mental tools for the purpose. I am not a political scientist, just an active citizen, as everyone ought to be in a democracy, no more no less. Not an analysis then, just an oversimplified (maybe), but true and honest opinion.
We people, founded states to protect us, this is the main goal, protection for everyone through a set of rules of what is just and a set of values, of the most basic human values. Some examples: the value of human life, human rights, privacy etc. Europe as a meta state, should always do what is best for the whole at first, for all the people it represents, and secondly for all people everywhere, and the environment people live in, meaning the planet.
Human beings as individuals have as any animal, the instinct of survival: in danger, a stronger human would save themselves even if this causes weaker humans to die. Even without danger, a human can behave at their best interest without taking others like them into account. A state is made to protect the weaker from the whims of the stronger. When this is established, trust is built and this is the first step for the common good. So protection of the weak is inherent to a state.
A state is made from the people, giving some of their power and their freedoms, for the common good, to the state they have built. When the common good is not served, the state should be dismantled swiftly and rebuilt. At least in a democratic state, like those consisting Europe…
The plus of democracy is that it builds mechanisms to control the representatives of the people and check whether they operate for the good of the people (as they are appointed to do), or for their personal interests. The minus of democracy is that it requires active participation of it’s citizens, or at least independent journalism and free speech, things hard to retain for long, especially when things seem to go moderately fine.
If a democratic state does not operate like that, democracy is not working anymore, changes should be made fast, or the return to the law of the jungle is not far.
When there is an oppressor and an oppressed, a state should Always be at the side of the oppressed. For example if a woman was being raped for hours and somehow, during the rape, she managed to hit her aggressor really hard, with one blow not in the rules of any martial arts sport, a state should not say that the aggressor has a “right to defend themselves”.
In Ukraine there was an invasion, and Europe rightly stood by the victim. Military equipment and ammunition was sent to strengthen the defense of Ukraine and sanctions were imposed on Russia. Here it seems Europe did well, if only the war was unavoidable. It seems though, that Europe was told to stand back and let NATO handle this. NATO is not a state representing people. NATO is a militaristic, ever-expanding organization known for being pushing the interests of the United States of America around the globe. NATO expands not by the promise of something better but with the threat of something bad. “Join us or something bad might happen to you”. Their guaranty of ‘peace’ usually comes at terrible cost. They operate with bombs, after they have deprived us from other tools to solve crises. Like with international agreements with terms bordering extortion. It seems like Europe is outsourcing it’s safety to contractors, where Europe holds some minority shares.
NATO should not be above Europe. Europe should be able to handle the relations and equilibrium of powers in the territory. We actually needed both the fighting countries for what they offered us, and they needed us. In the long run (very long, but Europe should plan way ahead) they both could become members of the EU. But the USA clearly didn’t want that to happen, they wanted a weak Russia and the rest of Europe against it. The best way to achieve this was a long-standing endurance war. NATO knew the red lines and NATO walked over the red lines. As simple as that. Take that, European bitches! Now Europe has no choice but to play along. It is so frustrating, thousands of lives lost and irreparable damage for generations. And it could have been avoided! Here Europe clearly as day didn’t act for the good of the people of Europe and people in general. NATO should not have the power to influence Europe’s policies, and this is Europe’s fault.
In Palestine on the other hand, we had an invasion as well. Here Europe reacted quite the opposite than in Ukraine! Never opposing the aggressor, never “standing with the victim” but actually supporting the aggressor’s “right to defend themselves”! If that is not a double standard, then what is? And when double standards come up, a lot of lies and propaganda are there to support the case. I’ve been living in Greece for 53 years now, and I’ve been hearing about the crisis in Palestine for ever. Now the international media is trying to reverse the roles of the aggressor and the victim. Tried to isolate events by starting the history at the point where it suited their preordained narrative, erasing the past. Why did they even try it? Are we really that easy to manipulate? By taking a look to the local news-sphere, not the Israeli, nor the American one, I can tell you that many people are that easy. But the states of people should not be that easy. Why then is this peculiar stance that defies logic from almost the whole of Europe?
There can not be equal distances here.
Israel is wrong in almost every way. Zionism was wrong from the beginning. Israel is sowing winds from the start but wants others to reap the unavoidable whirlwinds, sowing more winds. Israel never wanted peace. Not at first, not now. There were two roads for peace open, after persevering for so long (on occupied land). Become an open and democratic state giving equal rights to Muslim Palestinian-origin citizens as the Jew-origin citizens. But no, loosing the majority was no option for them. Or they could be a closed, small and minding their own business state, without further expansion plans. Leave some ground to Palestine for an independent state. They were the strong ones and with the never ending support from the west, maybe this (hard) road could achieve peace. The road they took was leading away from peace, and it was their choice and theirs only. They became a state that gave a bullet for a stone, jail-time for speaking your mind. Apartheid all over, militarized society. They gave to (armed) settlers free-reign to steal land and houses, drive away residents by any means, with the Israeli armed forces to back them up if they had a difficulty against unarmed farmers.
USA wants a strong foothold in the Middle East, very close to Iran, and their stance is no surprise. Human lives don’t count as much, especially when it’s Arabs getting killed. There are a lot of innocent children getting killed as well but what the heck! Harsh statements but their actions don’t belie them.
But, …Europe, why?
I will not even try to explain this stance, there are some possible explanations (not justifications) for Europe to support Israel in the past, mainly money. But when there is this plan from Israel to exterminate (not kill, as they are not considered people according to statements from Israeli politicians) all these people in Gaza (the ‘biggest open-air prison’), Europe should change it’s stance. The fights are still going on and we are just sending humanitarian aid without knowing for sure if it will really aid the victims, while at the same time we support the aggression! Here Europe does not protect the weak. With the sanctions upon Russia, Europe lost as well. I expected the same with Israel. Some economic loss for human lives, is something we could live with. Why is it not the same?
So, is Europe racist? Is Europe a bigot? Does Europe want to be a surveillance state and wants access to Israeli software? They are the experts in the field. I wish I knew. The one thing I know is that Europe does a lousy job in representing me. I don’t feel represented here. Worse still I feel it is not representing values that are valid across races and religions.
Speaking about religions, I believe that all religions are equally wrong. I cannot answer if there are gods that created the universe but I believe no god ever bothered creating religion. Religion is man-made. Religion was always a very good tool to control the behavior of a lot of people at the same time, still is.
Hamas is using religion to urge Palestinians to rise, like no other Palestinian organization does. Maybe it is the reason they are successful in that rise, despite the fear of certain death by the Israelis. But I can not answer if they are terrorists. The term these days seems to have broaden, even our own heroes of the revolution Theodoros Kolokotronis and Georgios Karaiskakis, would be called terrorists today. Greece would still not be an independent state, the Ottoman empire would still hold if the term terrorist existed and the international reflexes were like today in the term. Hamas is revolting against their oppressors and hits them with desperation. That doesn’t make them terrorists. Israel always hits with a plan. That doesn’t make them the good guys.
Hamas probably would like to hit Netanyahu’s house and not civilians but did hit what they could hit. Israel hits everywhere, hospitals included.
This post got unusually long although I tried hard not to go far to all the rabbit holes I touched. I didn’t even start with the new anti-privacy law that is coming, maybe in another post. I only wanted to say that I am not comfortable being in a Europe that sits aside and looks at people getting killed, half cheering.