This is potentially big news. Haaretz reports that Sweden is leading a drive within the EU to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The statement, expected next week, would also announce that the EU will recognize the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state should the PA go that route:
The document expressed the EU’s concern over the stalemate in the peace process and calls for the immediate renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in accordance with a prescribed timetable. The goal, it states, is “an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The draft refers directly to the situation in East Jerusalem, calling on “all parties to refrain from provocative actions” and stating the EU Council “has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as capital of two states. The Council calls for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem in accordance with the road map. It also calls on the Israeli government to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.”
…On the issue of borders, the document states that the EU will not accept any changes made by Israel to the 1967 borders unless they have PA approval. The EU, it says, welcomes PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s proposal of a unilateral declaration of statehood and would “be able, at the appropriate time, to recognize a Palestinian state.”
And to give you some idea of the hopelessness of the Israeli foreign ministry under Avigdor Lieberman, here is its response, which I guess is supposed to make the EU shiver in its boots:
Senior Foreign Ministry officials said the belief is widespread across the foreign policy echelon that Sweden is advancing an explicitly “anti-Israel” line, rendering Europe “irrelevant” to the peace process.
Translation: Lieberman is pissed as hell at those Arab-loving Swedish cock suckers.
I’m presuming that the EU has at least consulted with Pres. Obama on this and would not go forward so boldly without at least tacit encouragement from the U.S. Let’s wait and see whether he makes any public statement. It’s doubtful he would say anything positive. But if the EU is going it alone then he might criticize the EU initiative. Somehow I think we won’t hear anything out of Washington and that Obama sees this as a trial balloon for a potential partnership with the EU regarding which the U.S. can join at a later date.