In a move that promised to advance international support for an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders, Sweden had proposed to the EU that it explicitly endorse such a proposal with East Jerusalem as capital of that new state. Israel was apoplectic and promised everything short of nuclear retailiation. As a result, the EU caved and produced a watered down draft which basically restates past policy.
Score this as yet another victory for Bibi.
Sweden had hoped to deliver a strong blow to Israel’s continued intransigence in major matters leading to a peace settlement. Also, it hoped that this proposal, if passed, would encourage the Palestinians and perhaps even bring them back to the negotiating table. Alas, this was not to be. Europe, as usual, shrunk back when having the courage of its convictions was called for. Get this fumfering:
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, said the time is not right for recognizing a Palestinian state.
“I do not think we are there yet,” he said. “I would hope that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state, but there has to be one first. So I think that is somewhat premature. We have said previously if you go back to what the European Union has said that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state, but the conditions are not there as of yet.”
Bildt said the European Union is discussing other steps to increase support for Palestinian aspirations. And at a press conference later in the day, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana offered strong backing for an eventual Palestinian state.
What does it mean to offer “strong backing” for something that does not exist and can never come into being, unless you first recognize it and say not only that it SHOULD exist, but that as far as you are concerned it DOES exist? The idea that the EU cannot recognize a state until there is one is pathetic beyond words. That’s because Israel has a built-in veto over such an eventuality. So essentially the Europeans are going to continue to allow Israel to hold Palestine’s fate by the balls.
This is not the way for the international community to advance the peace process. It is a way to maintain the deadly status quo. Let’s be perfectly clear that Europe came face to face with Israel and a Palestinian state, and blinked. The Palestinians shafted yet again.
And this way the EU also can claim it is “sincere” in its “support for a future Palestinian state,” and still not piss off Netanyahu. Apparently they are very afraid of him. The EU covered its collective backside by flipping of the Palestinians again, and now the score is Netanyahu 4, Palestine 0.
What I cannot ever understand is what on earth they are afraid of. What can that troglodyte actually do to them?
Unfortunately, he has the open ear of the US Administration, and the European governments have shown extreme reluctance to define a policy towards Israel and the Palestinians that did not at least lie within one of the efforts backed by the United States. Why this is the case is a valid question, and most likely involves the weight of pleasing the United States versus the weight of assisting the Palestinians.
More like the weight of pleasing the United States versus the weight of doing the right thing.
EU places Jewish Quarter of the Old City and the Western Wall, as well as the remains of the Temple under the Dome of the Rock, under SOLE Palestinian sovereignty? All the while refusing to recognize ANY part of West Jerusalem as Israeli? I would expect Israel to cease any cooperation with Europe whatsoever, including European distribution of Israeli pharmaceuticals, Intel chips made in Israel, and any contact with Europe not aimed at evacuating the Continent’s threatened (and they will be threatened, for anti-Semites love to beat up helpless Diaspora Jews in a world in which a Jewish state is stripped of its 3rd largest city, Jerusalem, “Palestine”) Jews.
Richard Silverstein says
I always disagreed w. yr views before. But at least they were articulated in a sophisticated way that I could respect. But this is sad and pathetic & hardly worth responding to. I’m embarrassed for you.
andrew r says
Food for thought
If you recall, I told you that the EU would not recognize a Palestinian state, I told you the UN would not pass resolutions recognizing a Palestinian state and I told you Obama would not support such a thing, particularly since American public opinion, unlike that in Europe is strongly pro-Israel and has not been affected by Goldstone. (You know Obama, the guy who is getting the Nobel Peace Prize right after announcing that he is sending more troops to Afghanistan).
You, of course, said I’m a “pro-settler” idiot, I’m a moron, I don’t know what I’m talking about, etc, etc. Maybe it’s just that “progressives” don’t know everything after all.
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t think I ever called you an idiot or moron. But yes, you mostly don’t know what you’re talking about.
As for the EU & a Palestinian state. We’re still in the middle innings my friend. The game isn’t over. By the time it gets closer to the end you’ll be squirming & squealing in pain fr. all the political developments you will detest that will occur including U.S. & EU endorsement of a Palestinian state. I don’t know when this will happen, but it will happen far sooner than you would care for.
My God, Bibiton, Israel’s “all Bibi, all the time” newspaper claimed 30,000 attended the rally. It’s sorta like the National Inquirer claiming 30,000 aliens descended on Times Square last night. And I’d place only slightly more credibility in Yisrael HaYom’s claim. Even so, there are nearly 500,000 Jews living beyond the Green Line. Even if 30K attended, that’s paltry considering the centrality of opposition to the Freeze to the settler movement.
“the European Union is discussing other steps to increase support for Palestinian aspirations.”
How NICE that they acknowledge Palestinian aspirations. And as usual not a single word about Israeli obligations.
The Europeans have shown themselves to be a bunch of lily-livered cowards. I think this partly feeds into the whole Obama delusion, Naomi Klein has spoken eloquently to this issue. Since the U.S. allegedly has a “good” President now, Europe is holding its breath waiting for and expecting Barack Hussein Obama to do the right thing regarding Israel and the Palestinians, amongst other issues, and then the Europeans can follow in the great hyper-power’s coat-tails like the little neutered followers that they are.
Fat chance of that happening or Obama taking an ethical lead. The U.S. is all about doing the murderously WRONG thing in the Middle East, isn’t that somewhat obvious now, Europe? You see, there’s this little thing known as the “special relationship” between America and Israel, and that’s not going to change overnight.
But it’s ohh so convenient for the Europeans to sit on their collective asses and twiddle their thumbs and do nothing now that the U.S. has this great wonderful saviour Obama as President. If he ain’t doing squat, then everything must be Okay. After all, didn’t the cod-eating Troll-worshipping Norwegians give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize? (I’m part Norwegian so I’m allowed to make fun…)
It is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Solana has been forced into backing the closure of one of the promising alternatives to the traditional “Peace Process” route, but at this point the EU remains little more than the sum of its member states’ foreign policies. Those continue to pay at least lip service to the traditional route of negotiations with possible benefits offered, if they can be called as such, as can be seen in the statements from the French, British, and German Foreign Ministry stances on the issue.
This possibility is not entirely closed, though. The United Nations remains a possible venue for it, but the opening for such an option is closing rapidly, at least with regards to the General Assembly (which is in the 64th session, due to end in December).
As reading the foreign policy briefs on their Ministry websites made clear (whether intentionally or not), they are very reluctant to act without explicit partnership and cooperation from the United States and Israel on the issue, preferring instead to wait for leadership while in engaging in small levels of aid and efforts with the Palestinian Authority.
Michael Waltzer was interviewed on PRI to comment on Obama’s explication of ‘just war’ theory in Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech.
Waltzer repeatedly called Europeans gutless cowards (in essence) who did not understand that violence is sometimes necessary.
I can’t exactly articulate the connection, but I suspect zionists like Waltzer have done to Europeans what zionists in the US have done to Obama to force him to escalate war in Afghanistan and call it ‘peace making.’
Elsewhere, Silverstein reports on ‘wealthy [Jewish] donors’ whose arms were twisted re: J Street.
Anyone suppose there’s some very big Jewish money sloshing around in Europe, attached to a ballsy zionist with a specialty in arm-twisting?
I do not believe for one nanosecond that Zionists have done something to force Obama to escalate the war against Afghanistan.
As for Obama’s speech, parts of it were straight out of Orwell, especially the part where he kept saying, in essence, “war is peace”. I found it horrifying, and under the circumstances, his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, of all things, to be an embarrassment.