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18 May 2012


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Maby a glacier is starting to move
from the Irish Times

MONDAY’S STRONG statement by EU foreign ministers on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict marked a significant and important shift in
EU thinking on the stalled peace process, and appeared to signal a new
level of engagement. After the meeting Minister for Foreign Affairs
Eamon Gilmore, going further, suggested that Israel may have until the
autumn to respond positively to specific EU demands on illegal
settlements, arrests, demolitions of buildings, and Palestinian economic
deprivation, or possibly face measures such as an EU ban on goods from
Israeli settlements.

Although hedged with standard expressions of the union’s longstanding
concerns for Israeli security, and deploring rocket attacks from Gaza
and the targeting of civilians, the ministers’ statement is remarkable
both for its detailed demands on Israel and its sharp warning that the
situation is in imminent danger of reaching a point when the commonly
accepted eventual settlement, a two-state solution, would no longer be

“The viability of a two-state solution must be maintained,” the
ministers insisted. “The EU expresses deep concern about developments on
the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”
Specifically they “decried the marked acceleration of settlement
construction” following a 2010 moratorium, what other have described as
Israel establishing “permanentfacts on the ground”. And they
specifically criticised evictions and demolitions in east Jerusalem,
demanding the reopening of Palestinian institutions in the city, the
“future capital of two states”.

“Settlements remain illegal under international law, irrespective of
recent decisions by the government of Israel,” the statement insists
bluntly. “The EU reiterates that it will not recognise any changes to
the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than
those agreed by the parties .... All outposts erected since March 2001
should be dismantled.”

The Israeli army has also destroyed some €49.14 million worth of
EU-funded development projects in the West Bank and Gaza over the last
10 years, according to EU Commission figures seen by Reuters.

The tone and detail of the statement reflect exasperation with both the
Israeli government’s procrastination and the US’s at best half-hearted
engagement with the issue. And it appears to mark a significant shift in
thinking in Germany, until now, for understandable reasons of history,
Israel’s most uncritical defender in the EU. Israel would do well to
take note.



Interesting but off topic. pl


If the IAEA reaches an agreement, it will be interesting to see if the US can accept "yes" for an answer.

When Turkey and Brazil negotiated an agreement with Iran consistent with Obama's instructions, the US could not accept "yes."

Then we'll also know whether the nuclear program (only the US' latest grievance with Iran) is the sticking point or whether the real issue is Iranian sovereignty.

Babak Makkinejad

EU will never ever sanction Israel in any way shape or form.

This is for the consumption of the gullible Arabs.

You know EU is blowing smoke when you read:

"The viability of a two-state solution must be maintained".

The two-state solution died a few years ago.


It would be wise for the Iranians to reach such an agreement and confound the likes of Natanyahu.

That didn't work out too well for Qaddafi and Saddam. I doubt the Iranians are stupid enough to follow the foot steps of Qaddafi.

Also, you can't confound someone like Netanyahu. He is the closest thing we have to an American royalty. He is the man. He is the boss. He will ultimately get what he wants, because no one (or a political group) can stand up against him for too long.


Col: Trita Parsi spoke at our WAC a few days ago. It's quite embarrassing that the Iranians agreed to terms last year on shipping uranium to Turkey and then the US welched on the deal. President Obama had written to the Turkish PM and the Brazilian President supporting these terms--I guess expecting that the Iranians would never agree.

If we have a real press corps, a copy of that letter would be published.

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