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.