At a time when US President Joe Biden’s broader foreign policy orientations are becoming evident, doubts are growing about his commitment to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. And these doubts raise an urgent question: who will fill the diplomatic vacuum left by the United States?
AMMAN – Certainly Biden was in a hurry to return to some of the most shocking measures of his predecessor. Less than a week after Biden’s inauguration, his administration announced plans Restoring US relations with the Palestinian leadership And relaunchPalestinian refugees help. This administration has once again resolved to find a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But those half-hearted promises, along with Biden’s apparent reluctance to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, do not reflect the level of interest or dedication needed to push both sides toward lasting peace. Obviously, American leaders believe they can get away with it by bringing it Simple mask support For a two-state solution.
The same cannot be said of Europe: its geographical proximity to the Middle East makes it vulnerable to the region’s instability. The move inspires, during the Munich Security Conference last year, a group of French and German foreign ministers with their Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts to begin negotiations with the Palestinians. The “Munich Group” is in the process of reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.
Egypt’s participation in the “Munich Group” reflects widespread efforts to lead the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This month, Egypt hosted an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss regional events and possible policies of the Biden administration. The participants insisted that the Palestinian question remain one Central concern For all Arab countries until a two state solution is found.
In the same week, Egypt hosted a dialogue between rival Palestinian parties to pave the way for a successful Palestinian legislative and presidential elections this summer. If a unified coalition government had emerged, it could have ended Hamas control over the Gaza Strip.
But as important as regional efforts are, leadership roles of global players such as France and Germany are essential Strengthening Palestinian negotiating positions And to push Israel towards a peace settlement. If France, Germany and the European Union want to show their leadership roles in the region more broadly, they should start by disproportionately recognizing the state of Palestine.
In December 2014, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution recognizing the state of Palestine. The parliaments of each country have done the same. But all this Resolutions were non-binding. And although some members of the European Union are among the nearly 140 countries that recognize the Palestinian state, most, including France and Germany, have so far refused to take the step.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel argues that such a “unilateral” move would lead to a two-tiered solution. Similarly, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the “unilateral decision to recognize Palestine” would not be “effective”, adding that he would recognize the Palestinian state only if he called the move “useful for peace on the ground”. Would have said
After four years of aggression against a two-state solution, the Trump administration’s “peace” plan left Israel for one-third of the West Bank-occupied West Bank, it is difficult to take these arguments seriously. In fact, recent developments have Weak confidence in a two-state solution A growing proportion of Palestinians have abandoned it altogether, and 58% of them are opposed to it. Instead, constant calls for equal rights are being heard in a state.
While the number of Israeli Jews inhabiting the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is less than the number of Palestinian Arabs, a “one state solution” seems to be the most realistic goal for Palestinians. Most Israelis may not be in favor of such an approach. But if they reject it out of hand, rejecting the possibility of two states with 1967 borders, their argument would not be ten worthy.
Israel will go to the polls again next month, but there is no reason to believe that the new government will show renewed interest in peace talks: all prime ministerial candidates are ready to reject the Palestinian state. If Macron and Merkel continue to wait for a bipartisan commitment to the Palestinian state, they will also wait a long time after leaving the political scene.
Furthermore, Europe cannot redeem itself by sending financial aid to the Palestinians. After all, Israel did not hesitate to explain what this aid is. last November, Israeli authorities demolish more than 70 structures Relative to Palestinians in the West Bank, the largest forced displacement of Palestinians in occupied territories in more than four years. Apart from verbal condemnation from Europe, the decision received little response.
If Europe really wants to move towards peace, it has to show courage and conviction. This includes recognizing the state of Palestine with its pre-1967 borders, which helped to strike a fair balance in the negotiations and clarify the framework for peace. Israel will oppose such measures, but as Sweden’s experience shows, bilateral relations will not ultimately suffer when a country dares to recognize Palestine. And even if it does, it is a bad reason to sabotage all hope for real and lasting peace in Europe’s immediate neighborhood.