RANJAN SOLOMON | 9 FEBRUARY, 2018
Palestine: It Is Not About Aid, It Is About Peace With Justice
US brokering role exposed by Trump, EU jumps in
For too long the world has lived under the thoughtless illusion that peace between Israel and Palestine could be brokered by the US; and that the region was within the sphere of their political influence. This has proven fictional and even amusing after Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem would be Israel’s capital. In the last few weeks, the EU has jumped into the fray asking for an equal space in the peace process.
The US and EU wield influence, and pour millions of dollars to both sides, perhaps with an imbalanced weightage in favor of Israel. The EU is now saying: “Nothing without the US, nothing with the US alone.”
It would sound cynical to some. But it can be argued that neither of these parties can actually contribute to a just peace. Palestinians must come to grips with Realpolitik that rejects western parties as lone mediators. Their excessive reliance on US mediation does not augur well. It has produced no good. With its stranglehold over US politics, the Zionists will not concede an inch of power and will only seek to enhance their vice-like grip over Palestinian territories.
The EU with its ‘holocaust complex’ which it can never live down will only look for harmonizing measures that give Israel an edge in the final outcome of any negotiations. These will not fit into the demands for justice that the final status issues are meant to resolve.
Peace talks are about reconciliation. And reconciliation is unthinkable until bona fide justice is served to the Palestinians. Money can’t buy justice and the EU may be tempted to throw more aid into the political mix as if added aid will craft justice for a vulnerable Palestinian population. Neither the EU nor the USA can claim to have integrity of intent and interest in the solution. Both may want the problem out of the way but they won’t even engage in candid talk that will point to permanent and sustainable solutions.
There simply is no political investment of that kind that the West possesses. All they have is political capital that is on offer for no-war-no-conflict-peace zone- a kind of peace of the graveyard. Justice, to them, is that ideal which they want to disguise with an eye-wash that blinds the world to justice. They may opt to rescind Oslo under a different guise and then label Palestinian unreasonable because they are bound to reject the formulas they fabricate.
At the United Nations, Palestine has survived and grown from strength almost exclusively with the support of a majority of countries from the so-called ‘Third World’. Europe and the USA have tended to post negative votes or simply abstain with alarming frequency. Lobbies in those countries control what their governments will or will not say in favour of Palestine. In such a context it is arrogant for the EU to ask for a place in the mediation table with just the USA.
With the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) has weakened to the point of being unable to be the political force it once was. Yet, it is not dead and gone. But with over 120 members, not counting 11 observer states, it remains the largest bloc. Among its members are significant countries- Brazil, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Nigeria, and South Africa. Then there is Turkey, outside NAM but a weighty political influence in the Middle East. And how can a serious global negotiation exclude China, Japan and Russia.
The presence of these additional countries will bring a counter-balance to the temptation to prescribe one-sided, even racist impositions on the Palestinians. Delays will only enable Israel to keep the conflict alive during which time they will appropriate more land, and create detrimental facts on-the-ground which may hard to reverse or erase.
When EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini says: “Any framework for negotiations must be multilateral and must involve all players”, she implies the self-selected club of western leaders only. Israel was created owing to racism of the worst kind in Europe. The solution was unequal and resulted in complicating things to a point where solutions have become hard to implement. It was a western construct.
The West must now have the political sense to abdicate its racial arrogance and bring together a wider representative of countries to come up with a final solution in a given time frame. Europe and the USA do not know how to confront Israel. It is Israel which holds all the political aces and a western imposed solution is a non-starter because it can dictate terms. Europe and the USA, with their holocaust complex have also miserably failed to support the most legitimate non-violent instrument available to the Palestinians – the BDS. The pro-Israel lobbies will have nothing to do with policies which isolate Israel.
As a Haaretz editorial puts it: With the “EU in relative decline and with the rise of various right-wing, nationalist or populist governments and parties in Europe, many of whom are pro-Israeli and anti-Muslim, it seems that the EU’s commitment and capability to help resolve the conflict is, in fact, far less than it has been - and way below Palestinian expectations.” The West as a whole is simply not up to the task; hence a wider negotiating alliance.