The Guest Blog

Guest blog post by David Heibron Price, a Brussels-based writer and journalist, and editor of the Schuman Project.

On US President Donald Trump’s eight-day visit abroad this week he will touch down in four countries, discussing global politics and religion. Will he be met in Brussels with confusion on defence, security, culture and religion?

In Saudi Arabia on Sunday he met with King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammed to inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. He issued a challenge against “radicalization, Islamic extremism, Islamists, and Islamist terror of all kinds”. Such extremism was a “battle between good and evil.” He urged Arab leaders to “drive out the terrorists from your places of worship, your countries and out of the earth!”

Saudi Arabia has disbursed trillions of oil dollars since 1973 on promoting worldwide its immoderate Wahabism, a potent mixture of politics and religion.

President Trump flies direct to Israel – a small democracy in a war zone, surrounded by many hostile forces. His agenda has meetings with President Rivlin and PM Netanyahu, visit the Yad Vashem exhibition of the Holocaust and a speech at the Israel Museum.

US policy with Israel is in a ferment of change. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, in her first press conference denounced the inordinate bias of the UN in being blind to almost every violation of human rights around the world except real or imagined events in Israel. She said the USA believes that the Western Wall is firmly part of Israel and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem. The US State Department is still following a pro-oil and anti-Israel policy. It insists that no Israeli officials should accompany Mr Trump to the Wall as “it is disputed territory”. Really? Who built it?

Trump has spoken optimistically about a bigger and better plan for peace than generally understood.

Trump’s next stop is to see Pope Francis in Rome and meet with Italian government officials. The Catholic Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians recently sent a report to the US State Department on the “Genocide against Christians in the Middle East.” The Islamic State, it warned, says:

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women.” It is a strategic threat. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”

In Belgium President Trump has meetings with the Belgian King, NATO and a stop at the European Council.

What is Europe’s attitude to these global challenges? At NATO Mr Trump will try to convince Europeans they should take their own defence and security seriously. They should spend at least two percent of their money on this type of insurance. But Europe, which is richer and more populous than the USA, wastes its present meagre military resources by non- standardization of its systems.

What of the terrorism and aggressive ideologies aimed at Europe’s downfall? The European External Action Service takes a secretive and passive attitude to the Islamic assault on the roots of its Judeo-Christian civilization. It seems incapable even of defending itself, even with Trumpian words.

The UNESCO Decision on Jerusalem in October last year attacked the whole basis of Judeo-Christian civilization. It was a warning of an ideological assault. The EEAS was silent. The resolution tried to maintain that only Arabic/Muslim names were valid for Jerusalem. It simply wrote out any mention of any previous civilizations that attached their names to the Holy City. Nothing was relevant except the Arabic/ Muslim history.

This undermines not only culture, civilization but the bases of law and jurisprudence. The League of Nations and the UN recognized this area as Jewish Homeland. The site had been temporarily conquered by Greek, Roman, Arab, then Turkish and the British in WW1. Have the British better rights because their conquest was more recent? The only lasting solution is on the basis of the rule of law and property or other rights.

On the 1st of May 2017 UNESCO’s Executive Board voted on the Decision under agenda item 30 on “Occupied Palestine”. Bizarre turn of history! Before 1947 the Jews were known as Palestinians. Arabs refused to be called by this name. That changed only in the 1960s when the USSR helped place Egyptian-born terrorist Yasser Arafat as head of the “revolutionary movement”, the PLO. He called the “Two State Solution” a “truce”.

Italy changed its previous UNESCO abstention to a vote against. On the other hand, Sweden voted in favour of this Islamic-biased Resolution. So why did so few European States, who owe their very civilization to the Book, vote against the Resolution? Why did so many simply abstain? That gave tacit support for undermining Western civilization. Only five States voted against the Resolution in October. Why did countries like France and Spain just abstain on such a serious matter? What on earth possessed Sweden to vote for it, after a violent terrorist attack in central Stockholm? A truck was aimed especially at children. It left five people dead and many injured.

Europeans should ask: Who came up with this Resolution, an attempt to obliterate Europe’s science and history? It was drafted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan, at the behest of the PA’s policy of cultural nihilism. This turns UNESCO’s role on its head. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO in a speech transmitted to the European Parliament on 30 March said:

“Jerusalem puts us in front of a radical choice. … To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.”

She added: “The protection and better understanding of the Heritage of Jerusalem is part of a broader vision for peace. It is part of a wider vision to fight against all forms of denial of Jewish history, de-legitimization of Israel, and anti-Semitism. This work is essential, as European know too well the ravages of war and anti-Semitism.”

Both Europeans and Israelis should be made well aware at this affront to their history and culture. Especially omitted from last year’s resolution were any place names evoking the ancient Israelite and continuous Jewish heritage of the City. These should be well-known to all educators, scientists and all cultures familiar with the People of the Book.

UNESCO prefers to mention a fabulous Muslim winged animal Barak, ‘smaller than a mule’ allegedly seen in a dream. It omits all mention of real Hebrew artifacts containing names of kings and their ministers showing continuous cultural achievements over three thousand years.

On the same day as the UNESCO resolution, the Israeli Antiquities Department announced the identity of a Hebrew language document dating from the seventh century BCE. It mentions ‘Jerusalem’ as the place of shipment for wine from a female merchant.

Factual history and culture is Europeans’ most precious heritage. So is the Rule of Law.

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