November 15, 2005
'Eurabia' DefinedBy Andrew G. Bostom
The flames consuming thousands of automobiles, and the occasional bus, nursery, warehouse, and school across France are the result of tragic — in the original sense of the word — set of decisions made by the leaders of Europe, motivated by greed, jealousy, and hubris. The dream of a Europe restored to preeminence, isolating and vanquishing the upstart Americans, via a rock—solid alliance with the Arab world, has become a nightmare. The French cannot acknowledge their problem precisely because they cannot admit the folly of the policies pursued for the last three decades as the bedrock of their highest diplomatic, political, and economic ambitions.
The intifada raging in France for almost three weeks, has been characterized by overwhelmingly Muslim rioters engaged in acts of wanton destruction, punctuated by claims of 'territorial control' over sections of various French cities. In the context of this ongoing havoc, one sees repeated references to the term 'Eurabia' by journalists and other media and academic elites, who, almost without exception, have no idea about the concrete origins, or significance of this term.
The use of the term 'Eurabia', as noted by the scholar Bat Ye'or (in her seminal analysis, Eurabia—The Euro—Arab Axis, released earlier this year) was first introduced, triumphally, in the mid—1970s, as the title of a journal edited by the President of the Association for Franco—Arab Solidarity, Lucien Bitterlein, and published collaboratively by the Groupe d'Etudes sur le Moyen—Orient (Geneva), France—Pays Arabes (Paris), and the Middle East International (London).
The articles and editorials in this publication called for common Euro—Arab positions, at every level — social, economic, and commercial — and were contingent upon the fundamental political condition of European support for the Arab (and non—Arab) Muslim umma's jihad against Israel. These concrete proposals were not the musings of isolated theorists — they in fact represented policy decisions conceived in conjunction with, and actualized by, European state leaders, their ministers of foreign affairs, and European Parliamentarians.
Eurabia, as Bat Ye'or has demonstrated, now represents a geo—political reality, envisioned in 1973 through a system of informal alliances between the countries of the Arab League and the nine countries of the European Community (EC), which became the European Union (EU) in 1992. Various alliances and agreements were elaborated at the top political level of each European Community country with the representative of the European Commission, and their Arab counterparts within the Arab League. This system was synchronized under the rubric of an association called the Euro—Arab Dialogue (EAD), created in July, 1974 in Paris. A working body composed of committees always presided over jointly by a European and an Arab delegate, planned the agendas, and organized and monitored the application of decisions.
The comprehensive Euro—Arab collaboration included both domestic and foreign policy issues, ranging from economic matters to immigration. The joint Euro—Arab foreign policy, advanced at international forums and NGO meetings was characterized by anti—Americanism and anti—Zionism, along with simultaneous efforts towards delegitimation of Israel, and promotion of Arafat's PLO. The EAD also established close cooperation domestically between the Arab and the European print, television, and radio media, publishing houses, academic and cultural centers, student and youth associations, and the tourism industry. Church interfaith 'dialogues' were a major influence on the development of this policy. Eurabia thus represents a strong Euro—Arab network of symbiotic associations which cooperate on political, economic, and cultural issues.
Eurabia involves not only an intricate web of agreements covering a remarkably broad range; it is essentially a political project for the total demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab Muslim world. Israel will eventually dissolve, according to the design of this project. America would be isolated and challenged by an emerging Euro—Arab continent, linked to the entire Muslim world, and invested with tremendous political and economic power in international affairs. The policies of "multilateralism" and of "soft diplomacy" express this deepening symbiosis. The Euro—Arab agreements are merely the tools for the creation of a new extended Mediterranean "continent." Eurabia is also based on a vision of Christian—Muslim reconciliation, built on anti—Zionism, strongly advocated by major Christian religious bodies, and often espousing a new hybrid Islamo—Christian replacement theology.
Respective European and Arab goals for the Eurabian project, are summarized by Bat Ye'or. First, the European ambitions: to play a defining political role in international relations in competition with the United States, and independent of its influence; maintain important spheres of influence in the former European Arab colonies; open huge markets for the European Economic Community's products in the Arab world, especially in oil—producing countries; secure supplies of petroleum and natural gas to Europe; make the Mediterranean a Euro—Arab inland sea by encouraging massive Arab immigration into Europe, and favoring Muslim immigrants; create Euro—Arab populations by promoting multiculturalism with a strong Islamic presence in Europe; develop a powerful Islamo—Christian symbiosis against Israel, orienting Europe toward Islam, and liberating Christianity from Judaism, which is viewed by some anti—Semitic factions as the embodiment of evil. The Arab partners, in turn, demanded from Europe: alignment with their anti—Israeli policy; modernization of their countries; access to Western science and technology; European political independence from the United States, and separation of the trans—Atlantic allies; measures favorable to Arab immigration and dissemination of Arab and Islamic culture in Europe.
Bat Ye'or traces the development, evolution, and major characteristics of these policies and practices over the past thirty years, while examining their consequences for the European continent, and Europe's relationships to America and Israel.
During a November 27, 1967 press conference, Charles de Gaulle stated openly that French cooperation with the Arab world had become, 'the fundamental basis of our foreign policy'. By January 1969, the Second International Conference in Support of the Arab Peoples, held in Cairo, in its resolution 15, decided
Five years later in Paris, July 1974, the Parliamentary Association for Euro—Arab Cooperation was created, under the Euro—Arab Dialogue rubric. [At present it has burgeoned to over six hundred members—from all major European political parties —each active in their own national parliaments, as well as in the European parliament.] The Parliamentary Association's explicit policies mimicked the 23 resolutions of the 1969 aforementioned Cairo Conference. This has become a permanent feature of how the Parliamentary Association operates— adopting identical positions, even verbatim language, derived from prior joint Arab League—Western European policy meetings, or even exclusive international Arab and non—Arab Muslim conferences.
The Parliamentary Association has endeavored to promote Arab interests and demands within each European party and Parliament, and in the European Council. The Association functions as a powerful extension of Arab lobbying efforts against Israel, pressuring European governments, for example, to adopt economic and academic boycotts directed at the Jewish State. The other principal organs of the Dialogue are the MEDEA Institute, the European Institute of Research on Mediterranean and Euro—Arab Cooperation created in 1995 with the backing of the European Commission, and the MEDA program that manages substantial European funds allocated to Arab countries.
These associations, through their committees and subcommittees, maintain complete coordination between the Western European and Arab parties in the political, economic, and cultural realms. As a result, the European Community stands apart from the United States by consistently backing Arab claims, and Palestinian policies, and stubbornly insisted (right up until his recent death) on Arafat as the unique and exclusive representative of the Palestinians. European emissaries of the Dialogue also work incessantly attempting to bring the American government into line with Arab anti—Israeli positions. Bat Ye'or has highlighted this shared Euro—Arab political agenda:
Parroting Arab League declarations, the phrase 'legitimate inalienable rights of the Palestinian people' is repeated mantra—like in European political pronouncements, but as Bat Ye'or notes,
This political agenda has been reinforced by (and now mirrors) the deliberate cultural transformation of Europe. Euro—Arab Dialogue Symposia conducted 20 to 25 years ago, i.e., in Venice (1977) and Hamburg (1983), included recommendations, below, that have been successfully implemented, accompanied by a deliberate, privileged influx of Arab and other Muslim immigrants, in enormous numbers:
Eighteen months ago, Bat Ye'or summarized the bitter harvest Western Europe was reaping from the sociopolitical and cultural changes it had sown:
In the wake of the continuing French intifada, Bat Ye'or's analyses have profound implications for Western Europe — which may be incapable of altering its Eurabian trajectory; her research may be even more important for the United States if it wishes to avoid Europe's fate:
Dr. Bostom is an Associate Professor of Medicine, and author of the recently released, The Legacy of Jihad, on Prometheus Books.