Why should a secular non-Jew support the Jewish State of Israel? Foreign policy expert, Robin Shepherd convincingly answers this and related questions in his important new book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe's Problem With Israel.
Shepherd is a non-Jew whose defense of Israel led to his dismissal from a prominent British policy institute. But despite this set back he continues to be a vigorous defender of the Jewish State.
Shepherd is an effective advocate because he is not a knee-jerk Zionist ideologue.
In Beyond the Pale he explores why European elites have turned from advocates for Israel to vociferous critics. His analysis is based on facts, not emotions, and he counters their bias with rational reasoning.
Shepherd understands that Europe's turn against Israel is part of Europe's turn against itself.
Europe no longer believes in its own values so why should we expect it to come to the defense of Israel, the West's outpost in the Middle East?
Europe is allowing foreign cultures to profoundly change its own societies. Europe refuses to defend its own values as it bends over backward to accommodate the most outrageous demands of its Muslim immigrants.
If, for example, Europe had any strong beliefs in its Western values would it have made excuses for the violent reactions to the Mohammad cartoons?
Would Europe be creating systems of Sharia finance that compete with its established financial systems? Would Europe be ostracizing Israel (the latest being the labeling of West Bank products being sold in the UK) while tolerating the inhuman actions of Iran's dictatorial regime? Why does Europe side with terrorists who attack innocent Israeli civilians?
Europe's identity crisis (and a tinge of anti-Semitism) coupled with its belief that international institutions like the United Nations can solve all the world's conflicts are major influences on Europe's policy toward Israel.
For the Europeans, negotiations are central to relations among adversaries. They are not shaken from this belief by adversaries (like Iran and North Korea) who use negotiations to buy time not to come to mutually beneficial agreements.
Shepherd's reasoning is impeccable and his writing is wonderful. This is not a dull intellectual tome. It is a pleasurable and an important read. Every friend of Israel will benefit for buying and reading A State Beyond The Pale.