The European Union and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

By Dieckhoff, Alain | Inroads: A Journal of Opinion, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The European Union and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict


Dieckhoff, Alain, Inroads: A Journal of Opinion


OUR YEARS AGO AT CAMP DAVID, IN JULY 2000, THE MIDDLE EAST Peace Process seemed to be nearing its destination--at least on the Israeli-Palestinian track. Two months later violence engulfed the region, revealing for all to see the fragility of what had been achieved in a decade of negotiations. Since then, the al-Aqsa Infitada has marked a period of a largely low "intensity" conflict for which both Israelis and Palestinians have paid a high price in human, economic and diplomatic terms. Direct political contacts have almost been halted, the Sharon government demanding the removal of Yasser Arafat as prerequisite for restarting real negotiations. The bilateral dynamic that was at the heart of the Oslo process in the 1990s has been superseded by a unilateral logic, most recently evident in Ariel Sharon's proposal for military withdrawal and evacuation of 21 Gaza settlements to be completed by fall 2005.

Even if this plan is carried out, far from obvious due to lack of support from the base of Sharon's Likud party including some within his own government, in the context of the strengthening of Palestinian paramilitary groups, the Gaza evacuation will not mark the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It requires much more: a full fledged solution that will not only sort out the political separation between Israel and a Palestinian independent state but also solve the thorny question of Jerusalem under a divided sovereignty and the equally tricky question of the 3.6 million Palestinian refugees. Yet it is well known that any such global settlement will have to more or less follow the lines of the Clinton parameters (December 2000), the Taba discussions (January 2001) and the Geneva agreement (December 2003). Unfortunately, the failure of the Camp David summit shows that such a global settlement cannot be left to the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The direct involvement of the international community in helping to work out and implement such a settlement is inescapable--a task that must be undertaken primarily by two outside powers which have, in different ways, been active in the region in the last 30 years; namely, the United States and the European Union.

The US has played a decisive role in all major peace breakthroughs: Camp David I (1978) which led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel; the launching of the Madrid peace process (1991); and then since 1993 support for the Oslo process. The EU played a more modest role, developing guidelines for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East ("land for peace": the Palestinians' right to self-determination, and Israel's right to security) and supporting diplomatic initiatives (mainly, but not exclusively, by providing financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority). There is a striking asymmetry: the US has been deeply involved in the peace negotiations from the outset, but until recently refrained from presenting a concrete settlement plan. It was only in late December 2000, at the very end of his mandate, that Bill Clinton presented general parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and George W. Bush was the first president publicly to endorse the two-state solution. In contrast, the Europeans have been insisting for 25 years that the national rights of the Palestinians should be respected; however, their role in framing the negotiating process has only been marginal.

In this assessment of the European role in the 1990s, the "peace decade," I highlight the main shortcomings of the entire Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), and their effects on Europe's contribution. I then set out a number of policy suggestions that would allow the EU to play a more active and useful role in the Middle East.

The European role in the 1990s

Both strategic and economic factors pushed the European Union toward a common stand on the Arab-Israeli conflict. (1) When European foreign policy cooperation began in 1970, national positions were divergent, with France having adopted a critical position on Israel after the Six Day War while Germany felt a very strong commitment toward the Jewish State for obvious historical reasons.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The European Union and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.