UN Should Demand Mutual Acceptance
Difficult for Europe to be Honest Broker
Between Israel and Palestinians
by Dan Ehrlich

A permanent peace between the Arab world and Israel will not happen until Arab populations are properly educated and materially affluent. Remember, affluent, intelligent democracies don't make war on each other.

All posturing and demands by Palestinians for their own state won't change the reality that they will have to maintain a dependence on a state they hate for their very survival. They will have to deal with Israelis, work for Israelis, sell to Israelis and buy from Israelis. And eventually if they become affluent and well educated, they may stop attacking the Israelis. If they don't, any independent Palestinian state will be short lived.

I have long felt a roadblock to peace has been big power involvement in the region. If the Palestinians, for example didn't have America or Russia as arbitrators and ombudsmen they would have been forced to deal directly with Israel and wouldn't be able to dodge issues such as acknowledging Israel even exists.

Now, according to the New York Times, Europe is exerting more pressure and influence in the Middle East as America pulls away from the region...the US has more than enough problems at home. And so do most of the European nations, for that matter.

But Europe's close proximity to the region and its dependence on its oil has long kept the Continent's attention and concern. The elder President Bush had little trouble enlisting many European nations to liberate Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion in 1991.

Yet Europe acted as effete observers during the bloodbath in Bosnia shortly after Operation Desert Storm...Now, Europe is leading the air assault on Libya, something it jumped into even though this is a civil war. Do you think oil is a major factor in Europe's actions?
Nations Mask Foreign Intervention with Smokesceen
Nation's inject themselves in foreign events because there is either a perceived economic of strategic interest to do so. The public may be led to believe these are for humanitarian concerns, but usually this reason is a popular smokescreen for a geo-political motive.

Europe and America's only reason to concern themselves with feudal nations existing on a different planet from the rest of us is oil. And since the oil stoppage after the 1973 Arab-Israel war, the western nations have been hoping that a peace between the two sides would insure that "the spice would flow."

But the so-called Arab Spring this year has been a game changer of radical proportions. It has pushed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the back burner as much of the Arab world became caught up in revolution, uprisings or just demonstrations for change.

Enter Europe, as with America, caught in a monumental economic crisis that threatens the European Monetary System. But, unlike America, Europe is far more dependent on Arab oil.

Europe's meddling in the region could end up as another excuse for the Arabs to complain to a third party rather than dealing directly with Israel. This would be counterproductive, simply preserving the status quo.... which many European leaders don't mind...just as long as there's not another war that may affect the oil flow.

After WW2 most of Europe's sympathies rested with the new state of Israel. The Nazi Holocaust was a Continental disgrace and tragedy of unequaled proportions. Besides, countries such as Poland and Germany didn't want Jewish refugees returning to homes that no longer were considered theirs.

But Europeans are far more pragmatic than idealistic. The horrors of that genocide are wearing thin in the face of two new realities...economics and demographics.
Europe Plays the Numbers Game
Not only are there 67 times more Muslims than Jews in the world, several millions of these Muslims now live in Europe. In short: There's a lot more money to be made from Muslims than Jews. Add oil to the mix and it's a no brainer for the historically anti Semitic Europeans.

A quick aside: An ultimate irony is that before and during WW2 Germany went to such great lengths of depravity and brutality to cleanse itself of non Germanic, non Christian citizens only to wind up today with far more of those people than ever.

But allowing Europe to be the main arbiters in the region could be a recipe for disaster. In the long run the EU just doesn't have the nerve to deal with anything except a threat to oil imports and now all its air power hasn't been able to crush Gaddafii.

The Palestinians plan to petition the UN for statehood this September. Operating under orders from the Arab League, the Palestinian Authority will do whatever it can do weaken Israel. And this includes having a state in two separated parts, one carved from Jordan and one from Egypt.

So, how can a nation declare its statehood if it is divided and separated by its sworn enemy? It stands to reason there must be peace between the two sides before a viable state can be formed.
Born in a State of War
That doesn't concern the Arab League's unofficial rep. Mahmood Abbas. He simply wants the UN to declare the state of Palestine despite it being born into a state of war. And a big part of that declaration is getting the EU on his side.

Former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk feels the issue could fracture the EU between some member states who will hang in there with the US which opposes a resolution and others who may side with the Palestinians. I disagree.

The EU can't force its members to vote in a block. And diverse voting won't destroy the EU. In fact it might strengthen it in the eyes of Europeans who feel their national identities are being drowned out by a federal Europe.

For example, Germany and Italy are rejecting the Palestinian campaign, France and Spain are receptive, and Britain, as usual, is on the fence.

But a better solution might be one where the UN showed some independent creativity by linking any Palestinian statehood resolution with the PA fully recognizing and accepting Israel via a binding peace treaty. No acceptance, no state!

That won't happen...Abbas won't sign a treaty without the usual conditions...conditions designed to weaken and eventually do to Israel what the PLO did to Lebanon...create a collection of tribal cantons, which is what the Arabs could have had in 1947 just before they chose war as their best option...Great Middle East success stories.

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