IN THE last days of the dying year, Israel’s foreign office issued a sharp rebuke to the European nations on the UN Security Council, accusing them of “interfering with Israel’s domestic affairs.’’ Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal had pointed to the upsurge in violence against the Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied territories, and called upon Israel to reverse its settlement policies. The Europeans are part of the “quartet’’ of peacemakers, made up of the United States, Europe, Russia, and the UN.
One can understand Israel’s ire and unease. The loss of Turkey as an ally, the enhanced power of Iran in the wake of America’s Iraq war, and the events of the Arab Spring in which Israel can see little benefit to itself, has led to a growing sense of isolation. And now the Europeans were coming in with renewed criticism over the Palestinian issue.