PARIS — France wants the European Union to have a seat at the table during next week’s start of US-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Washington.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said it would be “too bad” if the EU were locked out — noting the bloc’s political involvement in the region and its role as a top contributor of financial aid to the Palestinians. — Jerusalem Post
Let’s see. We have the Obama Administration, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Now we need the EU? Let’s invite J Street, too. After all,we need someone to be ‘pro-Israel’.
Not only is the EU a ‘top contributor’ to the Palestinian Authority, it also finances numerous non-governmental organizations in Israel whose primary function seems to be to delegitimize or even destabilize the Jewish state.
And the EU doesn’t shrink from trying to directly intervene in the internal affairs of Israel. For example,
Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, an organizer of the weekly Friday protests at Bil’in of the West Bank security fence, was convicted Tuesday in an Israeli military court of inciting protesters to attack Israeli soldiers and for holding protests without a permit. He will be sentenced next month. The 39-year-old schoolteacher has been jailed since December.
EU representatives attended every day of the trial, and the body’s foriegn policy chief, Catherine Ashton, released a statement Wednesday expressing concern at the conviction, saying, “The possible imprisonment of Mr. Abu Rahmeh is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non-violent manner.”
“The EU considers the route of the barrier where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal,” it quoted her as saying in a statement. — JTA
Where to start?
The weekly protests are anything but non-violent, with Arab and international organizers doing their best to physically destroy the separation barrier, and to injure or provoke Israeli soldiers and police who are trying to defend it. One of their goals is to place international ‘activists’ in harm’s way in order to generate sympathy overseas for their cause. In several cases — for example the recent incident in which American student Emily Henochowicz lost an eye when she was hit by a teargas canister — they have succeeded too well.
The land that Ashton refers to is not ‘Palestinian land’. It is land that happened to be east of the line that divided Israeli from Jordanian troops in 1949, and by international law it still awaits disposition by a peace treaty between the combatants — despite the fact that Jordan decided in 1988 to give it to the PLO — a terrorist organization.
Here’s an analogy: You and I both claim to own a car. You take possession of it by force (1949), I take it back (1967), and you transfer your claim on it to the Mafia (1988). Then (2010), the EU objects to my driving it because “it belongs to those Sicilian guys.”
Our original claim, by the way, is pretty good, consisting of the original League of Nations Mandate which calls for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Clearly this doesn’t mean that all of ‘Palestine’ of the Mandate must become the Jewish national home, but it certainly doesn’t limit it to any given part (not to mention that right off the bat the British gave away a good 70% of it to their ally, Abdullah, to create the state of Transjordan).
As an aside, if the area is in dispute and you don’t want to create facts on the ground, then nobody — not Jews and not Arabs — should build anything on it. Saying that only Jews are forbidden to build looks tacky.
Some people think that the EU, being a postnational entity itself, doesn’t take kindly to Zionism. World citizens like the Baroness Ashton think that nation-states based on ethnicity or even religion — although Zionism is not essentially a religious concept, clearly Judaism has something to do with it — are passé and dangerous. Nationalism, they would say, is the main cause of war.
They are wrong. These days, the most dangerous ideology is a universalist and anti-nationalist one: radical Islam.
Also, I thought I’d mention that in a world without nation-states there wouldn’t be any baronesses.