Israel and Palestine: Two States for Two People-
A Viable Idea?
Here below is a reproduction fo the summary report by thinc. We thought it will be of help for a peaceful solution to the issue of Israel and Palestine, without taking recourse to violence and hatred. -Editor
Institutions like the UN and the EU have undertaken strenuous efforts for the realization of a Palestinian State. However, despite a half-century of financial and diplomatic input, the current reality is that there is no independent, democratic Palestinian state. Instead, the peace process has terminated, and security risks are undiminished.
A report of a study carried out by thinc., published on 7 December, explores the EU two-state policy, how it failed so far and how to proceed from here. The report shows that the reasons for the failure of the two-state policy are conceptual, legal, and practical and offers recommendations for a new approach.
TWO STATES FOR TWO PEOPLES?
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, International Law and EU Policy
A Report by November 2022
The EU advocates the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the only possible solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This policy has failed the test of history. Today, this EU policy no longer aligns with EU interests. The legal rhetoric that supports it is redolent with double standards. This Report reassesses the EU’s current Middle East interests and critiques the legal rhetoric that covered for its 1970s interests. The report suggests a new way forward towards peace, consistent with legal, historical and political realities.
Reasons for failure
Despite decades of strenuous EU efforts, expending tens of billions of euros, the reality is that there is no independent, democratic and peaceful Palestinian state. Democratic institutions of government are lacking, Palestinian institutions and society are corrupt and radicalized. Major Palestinian organizations continue to promote the destruction of Israel and reward attacks on and the killing of Jews. The Oslo peace negotiation process expired in the violence of the Palestinian Intifada against Israel in the 2000s. The security risks mean that Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the West Bank is currently unrealistic.
The EU two-state policy has failed because it is based on three false assumptions: a) conceptually, that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is territorial and not existential; b) legally, that the West Bank belongs to a future sovereign Palestinian State; and c) practically, that the establishment of a peaceful, democratic fully-fledged Palestinian state beside Israel is feasible. This report critiques these assumptions and makes recommendations for a new approach.
Reassess EU interests
First, the contemporary reality of EU interests in the Middle East today is substantially different from the oil crisis in the 1970s. European dependence on the import of Gulf oil at that time is demonstrated to have dictated its Middle East policy. Today, EU interests are more diverse, less dependent on oil, Gulf Arab hostility to Israel is abating and Israel is a more significant regional player.
The Abraham Accords prove that Arab peace with Israel is not dependent upon the precondition of a Palestinian state. Today, freed from that conceptual box, there are expanding opportunities for peace and prosperity in the Middle East. These are important opportunities that the EU should benefit from.
Expansion of regional peace and prosperity will create further momentum for engagement and integration across the Middle East, as it has in Europe itself.
Recognize Palestinian rejectionism
Second, the EU has not acknowledged the reality that all relevant Palestinian political organizations
– including the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority that represent and govern the Palestinian people – aim not to establish an independent, democratically accountable and peaceful state side-by-side with Israel, but to destroy the Jewish state. Unless this changes, Israel will not accept any solution that compromises its self-defense. Israel was established as a Jewish state that seeks to be free and secure from hostile acts or threats of force by foreign states and non-state actors.
Addressing this root cause of the conflict should be the highest priority. Broadening positive regional engagement with Israel will discourage Palestinian rejectionism by highlighting its disadvantages. If Palestinians then can accept the Jewish people as a nation, and the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state free from hostile acts or threats of force, then peace has a chance.
Interpret and apply international law equally in the region
Third, EU policy incorrectly asserts that Palestinians have a right to fully fledged sovereign statehood in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, using legal rhetoric for justification of policy. The EU does not apply this legal rhetoric to any other comparable conflicts or occupations. Such conflicts are manifold in the region (Baluchi, Houthi, Kurdish, Saharawi, etc.) and globally. The rule of law requires the EU to interpret and apply international law concepts fairly, objectively and consistently. Instrumentalizing international law concerning statehood, territorial sovereignty, self-determination and occupation by using double standards is an abuse of law.
To be clear, Palestinians have a right to self-determination but not an à priori right to a full-fledged sovereign state. The EU two state policy fails to acknowledge Israel’s legitimate territorial rights in these territories. A negotiated peace should address both Palestinian and Israeli needs.
Establish the conditions for peace
Fourth, instead of promoting peaceful cooperation, EU state-building interventions on the ground entrench corrupt autocracies and promote extremism. This occurs because EU support of Palestinian institutions ignores local power structures and political culture within Palestinian society.
The EU should insist that, over the long term, Palestinian institutions be developed that promote equal freedom and security for all citizens founded on the rule of law. Such an approach is consistent with EU values of human dignity, prosperity, regional peace and integration. The EU should not continue to support among the Palestinians the same extremism and oppression of human rights the EU opposes everywhere else.
Therefore, European financial aid should be conditional on the performance of benchmarked requirements in three main areas: a) cultivation of fundamental values that protect the rule of law, and the civil, religious, and political rights of all; b) encouragement of personal liberty and equality (including acceptance of Jews as equal members of society); and c) normalization of relations with Israel along the lines of other agreements with Israel, such as the Abraham Accords.
Courtesy: c4i: https://adhikpost.com/israel