11 December 09
The European Union (EU) has ’softened’ the Swedish proposal which declared that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a Palestinian state. Now they are saying that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine.
However, they have not changed the most outrageous part of it, something that I haven’t seen anyone else call attention to. That is this:
The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.
The literal interpretation of this is that as long as there is no comprehensive agreement the EU considers Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem still to be under Jordanian control, and Gaza Egyptian.
Of course we know they don’t mean that. What they seem to mean is that unless Israel and the Palestinians agree otherwise, Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem are ‘Palestinian’.
Israel’s position is that Judea and Samaria are disputed and all of Jerusalem belongs to Israel. The present (not so) ‘right wing’ government of PM Netanyahu has made clear that there could be changes in borders in the context of a peace agreement. But the EU is saying that the these areas are ‘Palestinian land’ by default.
According to Israel’s point of view, there should be no difference between Israeli and Palestinian building activity in Judea and Samaria. But by agreeing to the settlement freeze — even though it is supposedly ‘in the interest of bringing the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table’ — Israel has weakened its position. This is unfortunate, especially since the Palestinians won’t come to the table anyway, and there has already been conflict between Jewish residents and Israeli “building inspectors” and police as a result.
If the Palestinians carry out their on-and-off threat to unilaterally declare a state according to pre-1967 borders, the EU will recognize it regardless of what Israel does.
The EU has no legitimate authority to determine boundaries in the Middle East and they should stop trying to do it. Let them concentrate on legislating about minarets in their own countries.