Much is made of how Israel's standing in the world improved after Yitzchak Rabin signed the Oslo Discords in 1993. Whereas before Israelis only interacted with the rest of the international scene, now they were welcome in places they had only dreamed of. International music and movie stars started visiting the country. Their diplomats were invited to functions across the world, especially in Europe. It was a heavy time and all they had to do was give the biggest murderer of Jews since the Second World War access to land to build new terror bases on and all the weapons he could ask for so he could accelerate his murdering of our people. Surely it was a small price to pay.
The problem, Israelis have been slow to understand even these many years later, is that this new love was very, very conditional. As long as Israel played the peace game by three simple rules:
1) give the Arabs whatever they want
2) don't expect anything back
3) stop defending yourself
they could look forward to hugs and kisses around the globe. Violation of any of those three rules, however, brought back the old frostiness as if - gasp! - it had never really been gone.
Recall how shortly after the Discords were signed, the Arabs began blowing up buses across Israel. But whenever the Israelis thought about putting the Discords on hold, they were sternly told by their new friends: No, you must keep surrending land and control, no matter how much they attack you. It's part of the peace agreement.
Recall how Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first go around as prime minister, enacted a policy: Until the Arabs hold by their side of the agreement, we go no further. Does anyone remember the pale look on his face when he emerged from the Wye Plantation, his arm firmly twisted behind his back by Bill Clinton, that great "friend" of Israel, and announced further unilateral surrenders?
Even when Arafat, y"sh, unleashed Intifada II, our friends remains unphased. Don't hit back, don't defend yourself. If they're attempting to slaughter you, there must be a logical reason. Find out what it is and defuse the confrontation.
The latest example, from The Jerusalem Post, shows that nothing has changed. France, under Nicky Sarkozy, has been called a great friend of Israel. So naturally, when Binyamin Netanyahu pointed out on Yom Yerushalayim that Yerushalayim is and will remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people, the French were quick to express their conditional support:
One day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed never to divide Jerusalem, and pledged to keep the capital united under Israeli sovereignty, the French harshly condemned the comments, insisting instead that Jerusalem be a capital shared by the Palestinians and Israel.
"The declaration which the Israeli prime minister issued yesterday derives from prejudice regarding the final status agreement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said on Friday.
"In the eyes of France, Jerusalem needs to turns into a capital for two states," he continued, emphasizing that French President Nicholas Sarkozy made the same point last year.
Something my father always said: the world loves Jewish funerals and hates the State of Israel because it works to prevent those. The French are simply showing the conditionality of the love we inexplicably desire from them.