More European imperialism

The European Union (EU) has ‘softened’ the Swedish proposal which declared that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a Palestinian state. Now they are saying that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

However, they have not changed the most outrageous part of it, something that I haven’t seen anyone else call attention to. That is this:

The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.

The literal interpretation of this is that as long as there is no comprehensive agreement the EU considers Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem still to be under Jordanian control, and Gaza Egyptian.

Of course we know they don’t mean that. What they seem to mean is that unless Israel and the Palestinians agree otherwise, Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem are ‘Palestinian’.

Israel’s position is that Judea and Samaria are disputed and all of Jerusalem belongs to Israel. The present (not so) ‘right wing’ government of PM Netanyahu has made clear that there could be changes in borders in the context of a peace agreement. But the EU is saying that the these areas are ‘Palestinian land’ by default.

According to Israel’s point of view, there should be no difference between Israeli and Palestinian building activity in Judea and Samaria. But by agreeing to the settlement freeze — even though it is supposedly ‘in the interest of bringing the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table’ — Israel has weakened its position. This is unfortunate, especially since the Palestinians won’t come to the table anyway, and there has already been conflict between Jewish residents and Israeli “building inspectors” and police as a result.

If the Palestinians carry out their on-and-off threat to unilaterally declare a state according to pre-1967 borders, the EU will recognize it regardless of what Israel does.

The EU has no legitimate authority to determine boundaries in the Middle East and they should stop trying to do it. Let them concentrate on legislating about minarets in their own countries.

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4 Responses to “More European imperialism”

  1. salomon says:

    The only way to put an end to these European fantasies is for Israel to avail itself of its legal rights to the whole land west of the Jordan River, as it has been entrenched in international law in the early 1920s.

    When will Israel do it, loud and clear?

  2. Robman says:

    No, the Europeans don’t mean Gaza. Egypt doesn’t want Gaza back, and so if an authoritarian quasi-theocratic decrepit near failed-state – as long as it is Moslem – says so, then Europe must respect that. After all, they always do….

    Vic forgot to mention the Golan. The Europeans probably mean that.

    Salomon, if Israel annexes J&S, Israel can count on EU sanctions. Collectively, the EU is Israel’s largest trading partner. This will be devastating by itself. If Israel were to annex J&S while Obama is in office, you can expect him to follow suit with Europe. Annexation is simply not a realistic alternative. And anyway, even if Israel didn’t face sanctions, annexing J&S will roughly double the number of Palestinians under Israeli control, only this new half adamantly does not want this. So, this is an invitation to a lot more terrorism, with the tacit support of large swaths of the world community, to whom this will be portrayed as a South Africa apartheid-style situation. The only way out of this latter scenario in the case of annexation is for Israel to grant full citizenship to everybody in J&S, which leads to the “one state solution” that savvy Palestinians and their backers want to see happen as a means of undermining the Jewish character of Israel through the ballot box.

    Of course, Vic is right that Europe has no authority whatsoever to determine any boundaries. I think the wisest course for Israel for the time being is to tell them that, loud and clear, and leave it at that.

    First and foremost, Israel must work harder to turn around the PR war. Saudi and related links to Western politicians, UN ambassodors, academics, etc., have got to be exposed. Parallel to this, Israel must promote the recognition issue to the maximum extent possible as the real obstacle to peace, not this b.s. about “settlements”.

    Here in the U.S. – and throughout the West to the extent feasible – Israel’s supporters must demand that Western governments – or at least the U.S. – cut off aid to the Palestinians unless and until they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. This should be seen as the first step in delegitimizing the PA as the rightful standard bearers of Palestinian national aspirations.

    Following from this, the idea must be promoted that Palestinian-majority Jordan is the REAL homeland of the Palestinians. After all, if the Palestinians invoke the principle of majority rule as their legal basis for sovereignty in J&S, why is this very same principle ignored right next door in Jordan?

    From there, the solution that emerges is one where Jordan institutes democratic reforms that leave the monarchy in place in a ceremonial role, but where real power lay with the Palestinian majority, allowing them to be truly masters in their own home. Contiguous Palestinian majority areas of J&S confederate with democratic Palestinian Jordan, while similarly contiguous Jewish majority settlement blocs of J&S – along with Jerusalem -are then annexed to Israel. The whole of J&S is declared a demilitarized zone, similar to arrangements between Israel and Egypt regarding the Sinai. Gaza reverts to Egyptian control (they created that mess, they can clean it up). Israel keeps Golan (to hell with Syria, so far as I am concerned).

    The above is the only endgame I can see that will lead to something like a stable peace. We are far from that, but something like what I describe will look more and more palatable as people tire of the blatant dysfunctionality of what passes for “conventional wisdom” on this topic.

    One can justifiably wonder why it has even taken this long for people to tire of this charade. That brings me back to my earlier point. Petrodollar corrupted media, politicians, academics, etc., keep this nonsense going. Expose this and it will help. But in a larger sense, what makes us – and particularly Europe – vulnerable to this sort of pressure is decadence and cowardice. Western populations don’t know what the heck their societies stand for anymore, except for being comfortable. They are easily impressed and intimidated by people as committed to their beliefs – no matter how backward and horrific – as the Islamists. And, not believing in anything besides their creature comforts, many Westerners in positions of power are easily bought.

    Perhaps after we’ve been hit over the head 9-11 style or worse a few more times by people who DO believe in something, we might collectively start to wake up and decide what we are going to fight and – gasp! – be willing to sacrifice for. Such an awakening just MIGHT make people ashamed to take the petrodollar bribes to sell out the Jews, and along with the Jews, their own socieities.

    Salomon, until the macro picture with respect to the liberal democratic Western world starts to change as I’ve suggested above, what you suggest will only be suicide for Israel. A Western world – that Israel, like any small front-line state – depends on for support, that is as outrageously corrupted as they are today, is hardly disposed to treat Israel “fairly”. Much groundwork has to be done first.

    Sending Obama packing in 2012 – and he is the poster child for the American version of all the Western political cultural ills I’ve touched on above – will be a start. That has to be a primary mid-term goal. Until then, we’ve got a hell of a storm to ride out.

  3. jerry1800 says:

    methinks, the Jordan is Palestine option is a no starter for several reasons, neither Palis nor Jords want this, and we cannot now transfer the Pali population over there. Remains to deal with Abbas PA aka. Fatah.

    BUT since Palis now trying to surpass themself who insists more on maximal demands (67 borders, right of return, Jrusamlem as capital, total jewish evacuation of yehuda shomron), there is very little chance of serious progress in eventual “peace negotiations”.

    And this status could remain for years. In the meantime hopefully sweeping republican victory house and senate 2010 so Barry Soetoro Husain Obama will politically paralyzed.

  4. Robman says:


    Do you have any reliable polling to support your claim as to what Palis or Jords “want”? I doubt it. No one does. These are not free socieites. Any Palestinian living under either Fatah or Hamas who openly supported something like what I propose would be killed.

    Who is “Jordanian” anyway? What does this really mean? Some say that Palestinian national identity is “made up”, but an even more convincing argument can be made as to the fraudulence of so-called “Jordanian” national identity. Jordan is only so named because it sits next to the Jordan River. It was part of the original “Mandate of Palestine”, until the Arabs (no one called them ‘Palestinians’ then) complained and the British gave them the land east of the Jordan River, calling it “Transjordan”, or literally, “Across the Jordan”, later shortened simply to “Jordan”. Presuming that this confers a unique political cultural identity is like saying that there is some unique political cultural identity, rising to the level of national self-determination, inherent in the state of Mississippi. Virtually everyone who lived in Transjordan under the Mandate, except for a few scattered beduoin tribes, would be considered “Palestinian Arab” today.

    The leaders installed by the British colonial authorities were the Hashemites, who in turn were the keepers of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in what is now Saudi Arabia. When the House of Saud seized power, they evicted the Hashemites, who were given Jordan to rule as something of a “consolation prize” by the British, at the behest of the French, who were afraid that the Hashemites would try to lay claim to their respective colonial interests in Syria.

    When one speaks of the “Jordanians” not wanting to be “Palestine”, what one is really talking about is the monarchy. I don’t think anybody asks the locals, but back over the course of 1970-71, a lot of the locals wanted to overthrow the monarchy, and were brutally supressed; thousands of civilians were murdered in a few days during July of 1971, as the PLO was kicked out of Jordan and into Lebanon. Today, even though such sentiments are repressed, the monarchy is not entirely popular. I know from first-hand accounts of Iraq war veterans that Jordan is a major source for a lot of the “foreign fighters” we keep hearing about. That guy who shot up Fort Hood has been alternately described as a Jordanian or a Palestinian. When we secretly based a squadron of F-16s and a Jordanian base during Gulf War Two, personnel were warned to limit their exposure to the maximum extent possible, as the host country – Jordan – could not guarantee their safety from local snipers. Yeah, that “friendly” government over there sure has a lid on things…..

    No ruling class wants to surrender power willingly. That is axiomatic political science. The Jordanian monarchy is particularly adept at “coming out of the water dry”, at “running with the fox whilst hunting with the hounds”. They keep telling Westerners that they are the best, most reliable and “moderate” Arab friends the West – and the U.S. and Israel in particular – have, even as they grow more terrorists to shoot our troops with, even as they have dumped the entire onus of solving Palestinian national aspirations on the lap of Israel. Yesiree, our “best buds” in the Arab world, that Hashemite monarchy….HOGWASH!

    So, what do the Palis really want? They say they want to either destroy Israel right now (Hamas), or they say they will settle for the West Bank for now but will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that they will resume the ‘armed struggle’ when circumstances permit (Fatah). They want suicidal war, that is what they want.

    Well, not exactly “want”. That is what the people who, metaphorically speaking, are sticking long sharp pointed sticks in their backs – i.e., the rest of Arab/Moslem SW Asia – are telling them to say. They are being forced into the Israeli guns so they can be grist for the CNN/Al Jazeera/BBC etc. propaganda mill aimed at turning Israel into a pariah state and ultimately forcing the Jews there into the sea or subservience, take your pick.

    The Palis accept this because they are part of a larger, massively dysfunctional regional culture. One cannot separate the war Israel faces from the larger war between Islam and the West, the “clash of civilizations”. In this war, Israel’s actual role is analogous to the role West Berlin played during the Cold War vis-a-vis the Soviet Bloc.

    In the Palestinian case, they are looked upon by the rest of the region in the same manner that a daughter who was raped in one of their families might be looked upon. They are the ones who “lost” Palestine to a third-rate religion, the Jews, who in turn are backed by countries dominated by a second-rate religion, Christianity. When they endlessly talk about their “humiliation”, this is really what is being referred to, whether they openly admit it or not. They only way the Palis can recover their pride among their brethren is to destroy Israel, or die trying.

    That this obvious dynamic is not called out for what it is by responsible opinion and political leaders in much of the West is partly due to endemic anti-Semitism, but this is greatly magnified by the petrodollar funded corruption and propaganda efforts of the Moslem world that I described in my original post. Think of how light is electronically enhanced by a passive night vision device; that is a useful metaphor for the relationship between organic Western anti-Semitism and Moslem efforts at exploiting the same for their own ends.

    Consider how far things have come in a few decades….Britain led the fight in the UN in the immediate wake of the ’67 war to ensure that UNSCR 242 did NOT require Israel to withdraw precisely to pre-67 lines, while today, Britain is among Israel’s most bitter foes in the Western world. Maybe the fact that the Saudis are putting more money into the British university system than the British government itself has something to do with this? Ever notice how so many of these academic “boycott Israel” movements originate in Britain?

    Back to the original issue, the real problems with the proposal I described in my first post are as follows:

    -The Jordanian MONARCHY does not want this. I submit that, given their dependence on the West and their economic weakness, they can be induced to accept democratic reforms that would support my proposals.

    -The leaders of the PA – of course – say they don’t want this. The reasoning is similar. My solution means that they give up their power and status that flows from their role as the sole recognized standard bearers of Palestinian national aspirations. Taking them out of the picture as such probably can’t be done without a firefight. That is why they must be delegitimized first by forcing them into a corner over the recognition issue. After all, what do they really say they want? A Palestinian state built on the wreckage of Israel. We are supposed to accept this as a given? To hell with them!

    Again, it is amazing how far things have deteriorated. Even as recently as 1993, Arafat had to promise at Oslo that he would amend the Palestinian Charter so as to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He reneged, of course; he obviously never had any intention of doing this. But today, the PA – even under the Western-supported Fatah – doesn’t have to maintain such a fiction.

    -If the Jordanian monarchy institutes democratic reforms, an election might mean something like Hamas ruling Jordan. In the short term, that would be bad…but it also means that as a recognized member of the international community – and not some rogue entity that hides behind the skirt of state actors – Israel could hold them fully accountable for what they do per international law. This is why, for example, it will be so dangerous for Lebanon if Hezbollah winds up taking them over; when they – Hezbollah – ARE the Lebanese government, the Lebanese authorities will no longer be able to say that they “can’t be held responsible” for what Hezbollah does, like they tried to do in 2006.

    A Hamas-like Palestinian Jordan probably would mean a war, but if Israel kicked their butts – as they surely would – and even if they proceeded to kick them out of J&S entirely, the Palestinians could no longer whine to the rest of the world community that the Israelis are denying them their “state”. They’d have Jordan. Thus, J&S under my scheme would be held hostage to the success of the agreement. They – the Palis in Jordan – could behave and keep around 60-70% of J&S, or they could fight and lose all of it.

    OBVIOUSLY, nothing that I postulate above happens without strong U.S. support for Israel, and that means it sure ain’t happenin while Neville Carter Hussain Obama is president. But I’m quite sure the Lawyer in Chief for the Palestinians will be out in 2012, and then things can change quite a bit, especially if Obama fails as spectacularly on the world stage as I expect. Maybe then it will be time for REAL change in U.S. Mideast policy (Obama isn’t ‘change’, he is actually like second term Bush, only more so). Maybe this REAL change would mean accepting the radical proposal that Jews, even – gasp! – Israelis, are human beings who deserve to be treated as such. Hard to imagine from where we stand right now, I know, but stranger things have happened…..