Article in The Jewish Chronicle

We in the West need to regain moral clarity

Israel is a fundamental constituent of the West. If Israel is lost, then we are all lost.

2010-07-22 by José María Aznar

Israel may be located in the Middle East, but it is an integral part of the West. The one thing setting it apart from the rest is its status as the only democracy whose existence has been questioned since inception.


It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Arab world and some are even ready to sacrifice the future of Israel if a new understanding with the Muslim world were to be achieved in return. However, to weaken Israel is a serious mistake since it is our first line of defence in the region; if Israel fell into the hands of its enemies, the West as we know it would cease to exist.


To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace and within defensible borders requires a moral clarity that has mainly gone lost in Europe - this spectre is also looming over the United States. To place Israel as a key component of the West’s fate - and it is - is to acknowledge that enemies are not chosen according to one’s liking and that the enemies of freedom are out there; to say that Israel, with virtues and flaws, has the right to be treated as any other liberal democracy, requires that we acknowledge as our own the values and trademarks in which we have been forged throughout the centuries.


Motivated by the necessity of reconstituting our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the contemporary wave of ideological and civilisational aggression against the state of Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have launched the Friends of Israel Initiative with the help of some very prominent people: Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo, Marcello Pera, Robert Agostinelli.


Israel, I repeat, is a fundamental constituent of the West. The West is what it is, thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish part of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Today, to defend Israel is to defend the West. With this initiative we aspire to make that reality ever more patent.


José María Aznar was Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004




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