It is time to change Europe ‘s view of Palestine European Union

The recent escalation in Israel-Palestine has once again turned the world’s attention to the 53-year-old occupation of Israel and the systemic violations of the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people. He also made it clear that the European Union’s long-standing strategies for ending the conflict and pursuing its interests in the Middle East are not working and may worsen.

On May 21, a fragile ceasefire led to 11 days of Israeli bombing on the besieged Gaza Strip and Hamas fired a rocket at Israeli cities, but there is little room for celebration. is corrected. To avoid another devastating confrontation, European governments must radically change course. They should take a new approach based on international law and multilateralism and go on to demand accountability from both sides.

The repetition of the old mantras of support for both states and the demand for two basic asymmetrical sides to conduct fair negotiations will not lead to progress. Trying to isolate Hamas or embark on another effort to rebuild Gaza would also not provide a lasting solution. It is doomed to fail in any effort that does not take into account the overall picture of the Israeli occupation and the structural violence against millions of Palestinians. Approaches that try to alleviate symptoms without curing the disease will not provide greater security and stability for either Israelis or Palestinians.

Therefore, any European efforts by Israel and Palestine should first address the discrimination and protection of the resulting states and the resulting discrimination.

The responsibility for the latest crisis lies largely with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During his 12 years in power, Netanyahu has consistently pursued divisive policies that have achieved nothing more than sparking nationalist sentiments and igniting ethnic and religious tensions in Israel. And last month, after four concluding elections to fight in the polls and investigate corruption, he decided to exploit long-standing tensions in the Occupied East of Jerusalem to reorganize political power, in a desperate attempt to stay in power. Instead of holding back violent settlers, the Israeli prime minister has long deployed security forces to disperse unarmed Palestinians to protest against the spread of solutions and violations of other rights at Sheikh Jarrah and Al Aqsa mosques. and violence.

And so it was when Hamas quickly joined. Taking advantage of the mild reaction to this latest episode of the Israeli attack by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Ramallah, Hamas used the crisis to present itself as the vanguard of the Palestinian resistance. He began firing rockets at Israeli cities, generating condemnation from the international community.

But Hamas rocket fire cannot be directed in isolation. The group’s actions can only be understood and effectively addressed if they are put in the context of a serious humanitarian crisis affecting more than two million Palestinians currently living in Gaza. The years-long blockades of Israel and Egypt in the Palestinian enclave and the indifference of the international community have certainly led us to this latest escalation.

Although clearly debatable and ultimately self-defeating for the Palestinian cause, we cannot ignore why support for armed resistance is growing throughout occupied Palestine. To date, the PA’s efforts to resolve the conflict diplomatically have yielded poor results, with very little change in the lives of Palestinians. Thus, more and more Palestinians see resistance — armed or not — as the only solution.

The main responsibility for this lies once again with Netanyahu, who has repeatedly thwarted diplomatic efforts, including the Oslo Accords, which he has personally worked to dismantle since the mid-1990s.

However, the responsibility of the United States and Europe cannot be ignored either.

Decades of unchallenged U.S. aid and military aid – now at more than $ 3.8 billion a year – have effectively inflated Israel’s sense of impunity, rather than exacerbated its risk of peace risks. As an example, there are the shamelessness of Israeli settlers attacking unarmed Palestinian protesters and occupying Palestinian homes live on television and with military escorts. These actions are a testament to Israel’s apartheid-shaped ethnic discrimination system, as recently highlighted by Human Rights Watch and many other Israeli and international organizations.

Since tensions have continued since the ceasefire was announced, it is urgent to deal with this grim reality.

Netanyahu is now stepping down, but those willing to replace him, like a large part of the Israeli establishment, cannot be peacefully described as a “peace partner”. The EU-led international community should acknowledge this fact and stop providing diplomatic coverage to divisive, destructive and illegal policies and actions against Palestinian Israelis.

Hundreds of years of using carrots to appease Israel’s concerns have failed in hopes that a safer and more confident Israel would make peace concessions. Nowadays, with regard to Israeli law in international law, sticks need to be employed, similar to the pressure that Palestinians have had to exert moderation and turn to diplomacy.

The final round of fighting should serve as a wake-up call for the EU. As day-to-day violence continues in occupied Palestine, despite decades of diplomatic efforts, the EU has acknowledged its commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms because of the inseparable components of its identity.

The ongoing occupation is a harsh reminder of the failure of a 30-year peace process actively supported by the US and Europe. Billions have been invested in the European Union to support the development of Palestinian state institutions. This support has not exceeded expectations for peace. Nor has it given Europe a well-known diplomatic role in the U.S.-dominated peace process. Similarly, while the EU represents Israel’s first trading partner, Europe has been reluctant to turn this into political leverage, even though Israeli actions have been routinely condemned by the EU. Meanwhile, member states have had an active Israeli tribunal, stepping up bilateral trade, arms sales and high-tech cooperation, raising the EU’s leverage and consensus on the conflict.

In the face of this, it is becoming increasingly common for EU aid to the Palestinians and increasing trade with Israel to become complicit in financing the occupation of the occupation. While this aid helps save lives, pay salaries and direct basic services in occupied Palestine, it is clear that it cannot be a substitute for political action to end the occupation. If it is serious about strategic autonomy, the EU must muster the courage to rediscover an Israeli-Palestinian political mission, even if it means breaking old taboos – that is, reviewing a policy unrelated to Hamas or examining conditions as well as specific sanctions. see Israel and settlements.

A few decades after the US leadership continued in the Middle East, the time has come for Europe to work on its level of independence from Washington, especially with regard to Israel-Palestine. Continuing with the regular business will not lead to lasting peace. Instead, it will only delay the next inevitable conflict, while also eroding the credibility of the EU and the US and a broader system based on international norms supported by both actors.

Only by reaffirming the role of the United Nations and taking into account violations of international law will future conflicts be avoided. By taking real equality between Israel and the Palestinians and dealing directly with the final status issues (settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, borders and natural resources), diplomacy will finally yield results in favor of a fantastic status quo that serves only as a cover. Israel’s impunity and continued annexation of the Palestinian territories.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the attitude of Al Jazeera’s editorial.


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