Remember how Turkey is just, oh so close to joining the EU? Remember how it is also just so far away? My geography is a little fuzzy, but Turkey is closer to Europe than Israel is, right? Thought so. Turns out Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi deeply wants Israel to join the European community. Berlusconi started a three-day tour of Israel by proclaiming his political dream of defying geography: “My greatest desire, as long as I am a protagonist in politics, is to bring Israel into membership of the European Union.” Interestingly, Berlusconi is not afraid to critique Israeli policies. Before he left for Israel he proclaimed that the Israeli settlement policy “could be an obstacle to peace.” Ok, so Berlusconi doesn’t exactly criticize Israel, but at least he spoke up against the Israeli settlements (ahem…Mr. Obama, you listening?).
Considering most of Europe has not shied away from criticizing Israel’s actions and considering Britain has an arrest warrant out for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, I do not think that Israel will be joining the EU anytime soon. Oh yeah, and it is no where near Europe. Still the [tweetmeme] expressions of love between Berlusconi and Netanyahu (the two are good friends) and between Italy and Israel show how taboo criticizing Israel is even in Europe. I doubt that even Berlusconi would have called for apartheid South Africa to join the EU had it existed. I do particularly like how deeply committed Berlusconi is to this goal. Reminds me of my commitment to one day riding a unicorn. If I wish hard enough, it’ll happen.