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Friday, December 28, 2012

Europe's obsession with the 'peace process'

And you thought the Obama administration was bad.... In a review of Europe's relations with Israel in the upcoming year, Benny Weinthal quotes senior research fellow Tommy Steiner, who says that Europe is so obsessed with the 'peace process' because it has nothing else to offer. Ouch!
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has done the opposite with regard to Europe. His blunt comment last week, “What the UN says doesn’t interest me,” could apply to the Europeans, including Israel’s main EU partner, Germany, which abandoned him during the November 29 General Assembly vote on the PLO upgrade to non-member state status. Netanyahu directed his salty rejoinder to the UN’s (and the EU’s) permanent pastime: opposing apartment construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Tommy Steiner, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, wrote to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “It appears Europe’s near-obsession with the peace process and the settlements stems from a belief that it has nothing to offer in addressing the other, more pressing challenges. While I personally believe that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is urgent and important for Israel’s national security, the European fixation on settlements has not only failed to yield any beneficial outcomes, it has been counterproductive.”

For Steiner, Europe’s blind spots consist of failing to confront the rise of an imperialistic Iran in the Middle East, and the growth of terror and crime networks in Sinai and in a post-Bashar Assad Syria.

“As an Israeli who actually believes in the European project and in anchoring Israel in the West and enhancing EU-Israel relations, one can only hope that EU officialdom would acquire a more realistic, in-depth and broad understanding of the Middle East and the principal forces shaping the region,” said Steiner.
Read it all.

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