"Sometimes I wonder why I bother trying to reason about issues like Israel. My thoughts may be of some use or maybe they are not, but I had hoped they might encourage some discussion beyond the usual exchange of platitudes. Or maybe I tend to overrate the quality of my reasoning. Nobody responds because what I say is not worthy of any response.."
The quality of your reasoning leaves something to be desired, yes, I am glad you admit that. If you discuss European opposition to Israel, the reasons change as the circumstances change, and it has nothing to do with logic. It's based on an underlying animus.
People of your ilk, and you yourself actually, used to say that the Arab opposition to Israel is because of the injustice to the Palestinians (read NF's comments). That was the explanation for all the wars, boycotts, incitement, hatred etc. Now, it is clear to even the most biased European that the Arabs don't give a fiddle for the Palestinians - they were merely useful cannon fodder and pawns and now they have lost their usefulness.
So now it is because of the Muslim Holy Places. And if it wouldn't be that, it would be something else, like Israel's alliance with Iran once the clerical regime disappears. I already see this excuse appearing in the Saudi press.
The Muslim Holy places are safer in israeli hands that they would ever be in the hands of any Arab regime. No Muslim is prevented from coming on pilgrimage as long they are not a terrorist. The Hashemites have no claim to be the custodians of these sites, by the way, they were given custodianship by the British as a bribe, and now by the Israelis, likewise to prop up their teetering throne. If anyone has a claim to be a custodian of the Mosque in Jerusalem, it would be the ruler of Turkey, who was the rightful custodian for 400 years of the Ottoman Empire. I don't see anyone suggesting that Erdogan be given that honor!
The Muslim opposition to Israel is a religious one, not a national one (ie, Palestnian rights) or lack of access to the holy sites. The Mosque in Jerusalem was largely abandoned and unattended for centuries. It was never considered an important place by Muslims, only Mecca and Medina are real holy cities. It became important only when East Jerusalem was conquered by the Israeli army in 1967. But here is the reilgious point. It is part of Islamic jurisprodence that land conqeured under the banner of jihad by Muslim armies, must never be given back to the infidels who held it previously. This is an article of faith. The loss of Jerusalem falls under this category, so does the loss of Andalucia to the iberian Catholics (yes, including your country). So does the loss of Northern India, which was once ruled by Muslim conquerors.
So why don't the Muslims go on and on about Northern India and Andalucia, like they do about Israel? Because who wants to take on 1 billion Hindus? Who wants to take on the Spanish and Portuguese who are part of the EU which was once viewed as a formidable power. This is too much to handle. They thought taking on a weak and small Israel, populated by Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors was a slam dunk. Apparently not, much to their dismay.
As for NF"s comment. The Palestinians came to be in the Holy Land because of the Arab conquest of the 7th century. Arab Muslims come from Arabia, not anywhere else. They took by force a land that did not belong to them, thinking that the rightful owners were dispersed, persecuted, not capable of mounting any military effort at reconquest. For 1400 years, one could say they were right. Who would ever imagine at any point in that long sad history of the Jews, that someday there would be a Jewish state, not only surviving but flourishing and now a regional power, as the Muslim states surrounding us fall to pieces, one by one. We just celebrated the 73rd Independence day of the State of Israel, and many people commented on this. No one could envision such a miracle, especially after the Holocaust. Least of all the Palestinians, who were psychologically unprepared for what was about to befall them.
I completely understand the point of view of the Palestinians. If I were one of them, I would share their view too. But, I am not one of them. And they are not one of us. Yes, the world is filled with us and them situations, everywhere you look. Universalism is a fraudulent ideology. Different people have different cultures and different dreams. The Palestinians view themselves as victims of Zionist colonialism, whereas we view them as conquerors of our land that have outlived their welcome. This is an irreconciliable conflict, that will not be negotiated. One side will win and the other lose and bear the consequences. That is how the cookie crumbles. No amount of speechifying by Europeans and Amerians will change the inherent nature of this conflict, so don't bore us with speeches about sympathy and pity. No one had sympathy for the Jews of Europe in their hour of need, so don't expect me to sympathize with those who want to destroy our homeland.
Prof. Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins (an Iranian emigre) recently wrote an essay in which he said, "The Arab moment has passed." The future of the Middle East will be determined by 3 nonArab powers - Turkey, Israel, and Iran. No one who has responded to this comment has disagreed with his conclusion about the Arabs. Even the Saudi newspaper opinion writers remorsefully agree with him. This is part of the struggle we are involved in. Nasr is not a Zionist, he is a sympathizer with the theocracy of Iran. Yet, he understands that the conflicts in the MidEast are winner takes all affairs, and the Arabs are destined to lose. Spare us your crocodile tears.