The United States and European Union Policy in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Die Nahost-Politik der USA und der Europäischen Union (engl. mit deutscher Zusammenfassung)
by Cornelia Beyer
In dieser Arbeit stellt die Autorin die Interessen und Politiken der Vereinigten Staaten im iraelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt sowie die Rolle der Europäischen Union in diesem dar. Die Politiken der Vereinigten Staaten werden kritisiert, da sie zu einseitig den Staat Israel unterstützen und damit den Konflikt zwischen den Parteien verschärfen. Die Europäische Union und ihre Politiken werden beleuchtet hinsichtlich ihrer Rolle, die sie für die Vereinigten Staaten spielen und spielen könnten. Ziel der Analyse ist es, Handlungsoptionen aufzuzeigen, die den Konflikt entschärfen könnten, wäre der politische Wille gegeben, und die zu einer friedlichen und für beide Seiten annehmbaren Lösung führen sollen.
Die Vereinigten Staaten unterstützen traditionell den Staat Israel, mit den dahinter liegenden Interessen, den Staat Israel zu beschützen, aber auch, die Gewalt zu beenden, und damit den Terrorismus. Hierfür wurde bisher auf die Stärkung und Akzeptanz israelischer Expansions- bzw. Sicherheitspolitiken gesetzt. Gerade aber mit Blick auf das Interesse, Terrorismus in der gesamten Region zu verringern, sowie mit Blick auf eigene Resourceninteressen in der Region sollte die Politik verändert werden und unparteiischer auftreten. Der jetzige U.S.-Präsident George W. Bush nahm eine historisch neue Haltung im Konflikt zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern ein. In der Nationalen Sicherheitsstrategie von 2002
erklärte er explizit: "There can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine" (White House: National Security Strategy). Zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte hat ein Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten sich für einen palästinensischen Staat ausgesprochen (siehe Appendix). Dies wird jedoch abhängig gemacht von der Installation von Demokratie. Die Autorin argumentiert demgegenüber, dass sich Demokratie erst entwickeln wird, wenn zuvor die Zusage eines eigenen Staates erfüllt wird.
Die Europäische Union steht dem Konflikt gespalten und daher eher inaktiv gegenüber. Hier gibt es keinen einheitlichen Ansatz, wie der Konflikt zu lösen sei. Ein neuer Ansatz zur Politikevaluation und -entwicklung ist notwendig, weil sich, so Nabulsi, der "Gruppenzwang" in das politische Denken auch der Europäer nach dem 11. September eingeschlichen hat "in which the accepted wisdom is so radically - and dangerously - divorced from the obvious realities" (Nabulsi, 2004, 228). Ein unvoreingenommer Blick auf die Politik ist notwendig, um aus diesem "Gruppendenken" ausbrechen zu können. Zudem bekommt die Außenpolitik der EU durch den Entwurf einer europäischen Verfassung eine neue Rolle und ein neues Gewicht. Schließlich kann es Ziel sein, mit einer vernünftigen Politik den Partner USA zu beraten. U.S.-Politiken gehen nicht konform mit den Anforderungen der Mediation (Asseburg and Perthes), deshalb ist eine vernünftige europäische Politik vonnöten, um die U.S.-Politiken zu korrigieren und zu komplementieren, nicht aber, um mit ihnen zu konkurrieren (Perthes, 2004, 5).
Im zweiten Teil der Arbeit geht die Autorin auf mögliche Szenarien der Konfliktlösung ein und kommt zu Empfehlungen für die Außenpolitik der Vereinigten Staaten.
* Die Autorin is post-graduierte Studentin der Politischen Wissenschaften und Internationalen Beziehungen an den Universitäten München, Berlin, Syracuse. Sie hat zum Thema Israel-Palästinenser Konflikt an der Universität Syracuse gearbeitet und beschäftigt sich zur Zeit im Rahmen der Vorbereitung ihrer Dissertation mit der Frage nach den demokratischen potentialen globaler Medien für global governance. Sie arbeitet darüber hinaus zum Thema: Verschwörungstheorien um den 11. September.
The United States and European Union Policy in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
by Cornelia Beyer
In my paper, I want to explore the Israel-Palestine conflict and the role and interests of the United States in it. The aim is to provide with some possible options for US foreign policy to pursue in order to further its own security interests. For this purpose, I will analyze the role of the United States in the proceedings with special focus on the newest developments, as well as describe US interests in peace the region. Europe is taken into consideration with regards to its role for the United States interests and policies. For the sake of simplicity, I will keep focused on the conflict itself with disregard to the surrounding nations (e.g. Syria and Jordan), which do have a role in their own right. In my conclusion I will combine my findings and try to sketch out a possible scenarios and recommendations for further action.
5. The United States role and interests in the region
5.1. US role in the peace process
After 1991, the US changed its policies to some of "participation" and "structural engagenment" (Johannsen et al. 1997, 148). The US condemned illegal settlement activities (which were also condemned by the United Nations): The first Bush administration - with its policy "land for peace" (Quandt 2001, 306) - pressured the Shamir government with the denial of credits as long as the settlement activities in the West Bank and Gaza would go on. His underlying aim was to maintain the political, diplomatic and status quo in trade of the United States. This meant, that he would only intervene if the vital interests of the United States were at stake. The Madrid negotiations followed where the vision of a "New Middle East" (Hudson 2001, 803) with a strong Israel as fix point dominated the picture. After Madrid, negotiations were held at the bilateral and the multilateral level (On the bilateral level, the `hard´issues are dealt with, like the return of land and security arrangements. In multilateral negotiations, issues of regional cooperation in a long-term perspective are dealt with), on both of which the US had its influence. Clinton did bring much of sympathy for Israel into office, and the situation for him and the `land for peace´- proposals were optimal: Prime Minister Rabin and his moderate labour party were prepared to fulfill the demands. For Clinton, economic interests had the most priority - he put more accent on foreign economic policy than security policy - and the situation did support this strategy. So, in the Oslo negotiations 1993, the US only played a minor part. They still promised to support the peace process with $ 2 billion for the West Bank and Gaza. As the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel gained momentum in 1993 to 1995, the US supported the process with foreign aid to Jordan (Part of the peace process was the reconciliation with other Arab states.). When Netanjahu and Likud came to government in 1996, the situation changed and forced the US to get involved more in the region. The peace process came into crisis when Netanjahu was forced to limit the retraction of forces from the West Bank and could not stop further settlement activity in East Jerusalem. A conference of the Middle East and North African states on 1997 was boycotted by the most Arab states. All this meant a degradation of the position of the US in the Middle East. From this point on, the US administration was striving for an adjustment and pushed the Israeli government to significant and credible steps with regards to the retraction of forces: Proposals were made to broker between the ideas of the Palestinians (30%) and the Israelis (9%) (The plan from Washington of 25 January 1996 allotted a step by step withdrawal of Israeli forces up to 13 percent.). Still, Nethanjahu did not comply with the demands and tried to lobby in the US Congress against Clinton. Clinton was advised against publicly pressuring Israel. The accords of Wye finally brought to total break between Clinton and Nethanjahu, when the latter continuously did not comply to the withdrawal of troops.
President George W. Bush did take a different approach to the conflict. In his 2002 National Security Strategy, he explicitly stated that "There can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine" (White House: National Security Strategy). For the first time in history, an American President called for a Palestinian state under a reformed government and for the Israelis to withdraw to the borders before 2000 (see Appendix). Bush outlined a `Road Map for peace´ in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, which featured compromises that had to be made by both sides before Palestinian statehood could become a reality. Following the Iraq war in the spring of 2003, pressure mounted on the USA to release a new version of the Road Map for Palestinian-Israeli and Arab peace, as decided by the Quartet. The US insisted that the Road Map must be accepted as is. Israel asked for specific changes in the Road Map. Under pressure from Israel, Americans insisted they would not release the document until the Palestinians had chosen and installed in office a Prime Minister, to begin the work of reform. Mahmoud Abbas was appointed on March 19, 2003, clearing the way for the release of the road map`s details on April 30, 2003. The Road Map is speaking of Palestinian democratization: a new Palestinian leadership, local elections, unified and centralized security organs, and a crackdown on terrorism. Israel freezes its settlement activity and withdraws to the pre-intifada lines. These are the propositions (first phase) for institution-building and a written constitution (second phase). Finally, Palestine would receive final borders and `certain aspects of sovereignty´ (third phase). Bush also supported the Geneva Accords, but continuously pressed for compliance with the Road Map, with the predicament that only "if all sides fulfilled their commitments, they could make steady progress towards peace" (BBC, 24 June 2003). Since 2002, Bush´s approach to the Middle East got influenced by his overall ´war on terror`. Terrorism from sides of the Palestinians had to be condemned for the sake of consistency and this conflicted with the aims of support for reform and the promise of a Palestinian state. Criticisms are, that the President focussed more on terrorism in his approach to the Middle East, than the issue of human rights or international law. Further, the war against Iraq took attention away from the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Finally, a recent shift to the right threatens to erode any hope for peace and could lead to more bloodshed and extremism in the region. The President in 2004 backed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon`s plan to keep in place some West Bank settlements and to dismiss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel, breaking long-standing US policy.
5.2. Unites States interests
Apart from the overall interest in spreading peace and democracy around the world (see the National Security Strategy), the interests of the United States with regards to the conflict are as follows:
6. The European factor
6.1 The European Union as an actor
End of violence: As Israelis are a strong lobby in the US, their security is an aim for the United States in itself. At the one hand, the concentration of the Jewish electorate in some .electoral districts is high, at the other, Political Action Committees (PACs) are supporting campaigns of candidates for Congress (Johannsen 2000, 153). Especially under Clinton, the Israeli lobby in Washington got to influence the peace process at the US-front. Further, Israel is of strategic interest for the United States since there is deep friendship between both nations and since it is one stronghold of democracy in the Middle East. Making the world safe for democracy has long been and is one aim of the National Security Strategy. For this reason, the US generally supported Israel financially and military since 1947: in 2004 an estimated 2,690 million dollars in foreign aid came from the US to Israel, out of which 2,160 million are for military puposes. The economic costs of U.S. policies in the Middle East have burgeoned and accumulated since the early 1970s. Identifiable costs now exceed $ 2.6 trillion (Stauffer 2003), the bulk of which are inextricably linked to U.S. support for Israel.
- Terrorism: Here I make a distinction between Palestinian terrorism and international terrorism, which is directed at the US. The Israel-Palestinian conflict is said to be one cause for Anti-Americanism, which fuels fundamentalism and thus leads to terrorism aimed against the United States. Al-Qaeda, the network of Islamist terrorists that the United States says was behind the terror attacks, subscribes to a militant form of Islam that seeks to rid the Middle East of all Western influence and establish an Islamist state. These extremists also have accused the United States of helping oppress the Palestinians by backing Israel. The war on terror was supported from the Arab side, but with decreasing engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the support waned.
- Resources: In the Middle East we find 65 percent of the worlds´s proven oil reserves and 25 percent of the world´s oil production. Since the 1970s, the US is an importer of oil and thus vulnerable to the Arab oil weapon. With too much emphasis on the Israelis and too little on the Arabs, the US could trigger an oil price rise, with negative effects on the US economy. Because of increasing Islamist antipathy towards the United States, `moderate` Arab states may one day feel - or even be - compelled to distance themselves from the United States and sell their oil elsewhere, especially in the Far East. China, expected to become the Far East´s largest consumer of imported oil, has already started a charm offensive. It is not clear, if the interest in oil and support for Israel are an antagonism, as today Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states have an interest in the peace process and even did establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
The European Union regards itself as "key player" (see website of the European Commission on the Middle East) in the Middle East peace process. It supports the process through regular meetings with the main actors, its leaders visit the Near East regularly. Its main contribution in the region is its 179 million euro a year on average over the past six years in direct support of the Palestinian Authority, refugees and regional Peace Process projects. It is the first donor of financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian Authority providing over 50% of the international community`s finance for the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 1994 and 1998. Total aid to the Palestinians for the period 1994-1998 accounts for 2 billion euro (Ibd.). Additionally, there are CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) joint actions such as monitoring of the Palestinian elections of early 1996 and training of Palestinian policemen. In 2000, the EU welcomed the PLO decision to postpone the declaration of statehood, but in the same document declared "the right of the Palestinian people to build a sovereign, democratic, viable and peaceful state" (European Commission) which raised critizism from Israel. Democratization has the highest priority. From the Israeli perspective, European efforts in the peace process reflect a simplistic attempt to impose Europe`s experience in conflict resolution onto the Middle East, without examining fundamental differences in history and conditions. European political officials, NGOs, journalists, and academics are perceived as contributing to the demonization of Israel and Jewish sovereignty. Rosemary Hollis is argumenting, Europe could contribute to deescalation ofthe conflict, if it would provide with another " "package deal": Israel had to give up its claims on the Westbank and Gaza including the Arab Jerusalem and in exchange would be put into special relation to the European Union. That would mean cultural as well as economic integration into the European Union as well as NATO guarantees for its security. The policies of the European Union up to now was following a linear development from the declarations of Venice (1980), Cardiff (1998), and Berlin (1999) and was supporting a two state solution of the conflict (see Appendix). The problematique with EU policies regarding the Near East is, that they are highly declaratory (Asseburg 2003), despite of the importance of the conflict they are to inactive and are too much reliant on the partner USA.
6.2 United States interests with regards to Europe
The first aim from an international standpoint would be good transatlantic relations. Europe is a traditional ally of the United States and a major economic power (see Nye 2003 for further elaboration on the aspect of power distribution between the US and Europe). Thus, criticism from sides of the Europeans should be taken seriously. Europeans are not very satisfied with the US´s handling of the conflict. A Council on Foreign Relations survey found that 74 percent of Europeans rate the Bush administration's handling of the Arab-Israeli conflict as "fair" or "poor" (Ibd.). Europeans view the Bush administration as having a double standard in its treatment of Sharon and Arafat. Aside from the necessity of good relations, it would be in the interest to balance against not so much the European Union itself but some states that try to play a more prominent role in international affairs. For example France seems to support the Arabs for having more leverage internationally. Germany instead, due to historical reasons, has a firm stand on the Israeli side.
Germany also continuously pressed for a common European policy with regards to the Middle East (Perthes 2001). In balancing against certain states in Europe and supporting others, the United States could not only further its direct aims (Europe is of interest for support in the war on terrorism even if it was never mentioned in this regard in the National Security Strategy of 2002) but also the indirect aim of supporting the creation of a common European foreign policy.
7. Discussion of scenarios
Overall, there are different possible scenarios as outcomes of the conflict, which I will present here and evaluate them (in light of the interests of the actors).
"U.S. policy should now move from conflict resolution to conflict management. This may be a difficult cognitive shift, but it is the only approach that now holds some hope." (Avineri 2001). The Arab side (Palestinians) will not accept the status quo. This outcome would mean ongoing conflict, presumably more violence and mobilization on each side. It would be accompagnied by high military expenditures from sides of the Israelis. Constant political tension would trigger the strengthening of extremist Jewish parties and the rise of extremist Palestinian groups. Further, critizism against Israel could strain the US-Israeli relationship: It could be projected onto the US, trigger terrorism against it. Anti-Americanism could endanger the proliferation of oil to the US. The conflict would be a threat to stability in the region and hinder democratic change.
Expulsion of the Palestinians:
The Zionists envisioned a single Jewish state that would encompass all of the land from beyond the Jordan river to the sea, as well as Gaza and parts of what is now Lebanon. This is not really a viable option due to stability considerations regarding the regions as well as human rights concerns. Expulsion would send shock waves throughout the region and the international system. Arabs and Muslims would mobilize against Israel and even governments that remain neutral would face possible overthrow from mass demonstrations or a coup. Expulsion would destabilize the region and maybe even lead to a negative domino-effect: the regarding Palestinians would have to be resettled into presumably Jordan, with or wihtout its consent. If Jordan would resist, its neighbours Syria and Iraq could come to its assistance. The stability in the region would be endangered and so would be US interests. As well, practical problems oppose this alternative: Palestinians draw from the 1948 and 1967 the experience, that they aren´t allowed to come back once they leave their land. They would resist deportation, meaning that Israel would have to use massive violence against innocent civilians to get them to go.
Elimination of Israel:
Arab states, Palestinian leaders and first of all terrorist group Hamas time and again called for a single Palestinian Arab state in Palestine. This option as well is not viable even from the Arab point of view. The 170 million Arabs are not united and seldom do even the Arab states bordering on Israel agree upon anything. Looking country by country, there is little threat: Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel, Lebanon is small and weak and has never had a strong army, Jordan is also small and is militarily weak, Saudi Arabia is distant and not a major military force, Iraq is distant and has been devastated by war, and Syria is no match for Israel. Israel has nuclear weapons and the US as a protector force and would use them. The Arab states do not. Furtherly, the elimination of Israel would be a violation of international law and an act of war, the international community as well as the United States would intervene to protect Israel.
This idea was advanced by Dr. Yehuda Magnes, President of the Hebrew University and the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. The idea lost support after the Arab states and Palestinian leadership totally rejected it. The binational state has a few modern proponents, including Meron Benvenisti, Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. It would mean full voting rights for all Palestinians. Unification would mean the elimination of the possibility of a Jewish state. Most likely the major opposition party in the new Israeli-Palestinian parliament would be the PLO, something most Israelis would never accept. The history of the conflict and the bad feelings that exist would make unification and cooperation an unrealistic option. And: there would be great practical difficulties. For example what would be the name of the new state? What would be its language? Still, as the wall threatens to become permanent, voices of Palestinians advocating an end to a two-state solution are becoming louder: "Why not concede the principle of one unified state, they ask, with the guarantee of one person, one vote. That way, given the rates of Israeli and Palestinian birth rates, the Palestinians will soon be in the majority." (O`dubhlaigh 2003).
The UN called for the establishment of two states in UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which became the basis for the establishment of Israel. At first, the Arab countries opposed Resolution 181, and were also not enthusiastic about creating a Palestinian state, preferring to divide the territory of Palestine between them. Since 1988, the PLO claims Palestine as a state. This is the preferable solution, it has even strong support from both the Israeli as well as the Palestinian population (78% and 64%, see the Israel Policy Forum). Both the Road Map and the Geneva Accords draw on this vision. Still, this approach is not without its problems. First, there are over 200.000 Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. These settlers are in military reserve units, this means they could resist by force any arrangement they did not like (and in the past they stated their intent to do so). Second, militant Palestinians still claim a unified (means Israel incorporated) Palestine with majority rule. Militant organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) are feared not to comply to peace with such a solution. This would mean ongoing low scale war between Israel and Palestine. The internal cohesion problem of Palestine is not solved by creating a state and terrorism is feared to survive. Third, Israel is highly dependent on its occupied territories for the supply with water, not at last for its agriculture. The whole economy would suffer from a partition from the occupied territories. Israel would demand a demilitarized Palestine, from fear of Palestine become an enemy state, thus leaving it vulnerable to attack by vigilante Jewish settlers and Arab neighbors. It is not clear if the Palestinians would accept this proposition. Other issues that have not been sufficiently addressed lest alone solved up to now are the question of full sovereignty for a Palestine state and the finality of the borders.
There are several options and some requirements to be pursued in order to drive the Peace Process. The most important aim should be to stabilize the situation: to achieve an unequivocal cessation of terror from the Palestinian side, along with Israeli restraint and the freezing of settlements. It is also important, not to look only at the process itself but to keep the end in mind: the prospect of a two-state solution. These are the recommendations for U.S. foreign policy:
Stop violence: This is the most serious end and the most hardest to achieve. The first step is to promote negotiations again and support either the Geneva Accords or the Road Map. Both of them are critizised by both sides, but still they are the proposals at hand most promising for the creation of peace. As the Geneva Accords is of Arab origin, it could be given preference in order to create the impression of Arab self-determination (the Wilsonian principle the administration is adhereing to). Support for the Road Map would - on the other hand - support the impression of the United States being not only a `broker´ but a `shaper´ in Middle Eastern affairs. This could be understood as a unwelcomed interference (and thus create further resistance, even fundamentalism) while not creating more pressure. Up to now, the U.S. declares itself as a partner to Israel. This brings us back to the point that the U.S. is perceived as a partner of Israel, not as an honest broker in Palestine. If the President is serious about a Palestinian state, then he should not refuse to meet with Arafat, while he has met with Sharon four times. In contrary, the President should make it clear to Israel that a complete end to all settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza is key to continued U.S. support in the peace process. Of highest concern are the raids and tanks in West Bank and Gaza, as well as the creation of the security fence, all activities which have to stop immediately. One traditional tool to create pressure on Israel would be to cut back on military and foreign aid. Unilateral measures should not be taken by Israel, as they are without consent on the Palestinian side, and pressure should be created to stop any such attempts. No solution is possible that does not include both sides. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority has to make clear that it will no longer indulge violent action by paramilitary groups as an unofficial alternative to announced Palestinian policy. If local attempts to halt the violence are not successful, the United States should bring its weight into play and at this point could include the European states. This would mean to provide peacekeeping forces for the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza, an international presence for Jerusalem, mainly in the form of police forces in an around the Old City. Further, the same tool that could be applied against Israel should not be applied against Palestine: the cutting back in foreign aid in case of non-compliance: Terrorism is not under control of the PA but a cut in foreign aid would seriously undermine their power and hurt the population. In sum, the process must be mutual: There must be a comprehensive end to violence and terror. As there is progress on the restoration and sustaining of calm, there must be reciprocal steps taken - a parallel process by Israel in which Palestinian steps are supported, sustained, acknowledged, and encouraged. Israel´s steps will be incremental at first, as Palestinian steps are incremental, but as Palestinian measures become more comprehensive, so Israeli measures must match them in scope and in pace. And there is reason for hope: According to a poll commissioned Search for Common Ground, 72% of Palestinians are willing to embrace non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. However, so far a unilateral Palestinian ceasefire, without being matched by Israeli commitments, appears unlikely.
Reform the Road Map: first sovereignty, then democracy: Foreign policy principles and national security concerns make democratization a top priority. Experience, in the post Cold War setting - in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan - has shown that the most critical condition for sustaining a democracy in any region is a bottoms-up approach to democratization: democracy is brought about, not so much by imposition from above by external actors, but is established by grassroots and civil society organizations within the region itself. Since the 1990s, there are continuosly attempts to reform from within the Palestinian society (see Barsalou 2003). These should be supported. But there cannot be reform before basic security is in lace. The creation of a democracy usually follows the establishment of a state, not the other way round. Thus, the prospect for Palestine should be a sovereign state, as there is no such thing as `attributes of sovereignty` (see Road Map), and it should be put first in the Road Map. Terrorism will not stop when there is not a political solution to the problem. Even if Palestinian militant organization Hamas might not stop attacks unless it received guarantees of a full Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory (see ABC News), a politically strong PA, functioning democracy and security forces (domestic or with support from the US) are the only remedy. This would weaken support for extremists and take away their cause and credibility. Further, according to the same poll reported above, 72% of Israeli Jews would accept a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders if Palestinians would stop violence. At the same time, the Palestinians, as they prepare for statehood, should undertake steps to prepare the institutions and leadership necessary for Palestine to be a democratic, responsible, and prosperous state - a partner not just for Israel, but for the region, for the United States, and for the world. Finally, "such an effort should be accompanied by an explicit demand that the Palestinian side must begin to educate its population for peace; that the Israelis, though an adversary, should not be dehumanized; and that there should be no more statements like that made by Arafat at the U.N. Anti-Racism Conference in Durban that Israel is the last outpost of colonialism, which Israelis see as still denying the very legitimacy of their polity" (Avineri 2001).
Promote free trade and manage aid for Palestine: 60 % of the Palestinian population live under the poverty line of $ 2.10 per day. Even Israel is getting concerned about the economic situation in Palestine, threatening to further destabilize it. To be viable, the Palestinian Authority and a future Palestinian state, need economic and financial support to develop an economic infrastructure. The solution is to manage a sort of Marshall Plan for rebuilding an independent Palestinian economy. Europe - a big donor to Palestine - could be included in this effort. Second, go on with the plan to create a free trade zone in the Middle East. Proposals in this regard were made by the Bush administration in May 2003. The Middle East and North Africa combined could be a market of 288 million dollar per year (Martin 2003). The European experience shows the beneficial and pacifying effect of economic cooperation and integration between states. If only a small part of this experience could be applied to the Middle East, this could increase the prospects for peace.
Include UN and Europe: There was a Memorandum of Unterstanding between the US and Israel in 1991, not to include the United Nations in the solution of the conflict. This is due to the fact, that the United Nations continuously condemned Israel for its actions. Still, they could be brought back in for (a) overseeing Palestinian efforts to establish democratic political institutions, transparent economic institutions, an independent judiciary, and an effective security apparatus, (b) directing an U.S.-led multinational force - if needed to establish order in the occupied territories - including working with the Palestinian security apparatus to confront terrorist organizations, uproot their infrastructure, and disarm military groups. The UN could play a role in moderating the international conference of phase II, where the open issues of the status of Jeruslam, the refugee and the water question will be solved. Europe as well should be seen as a partner in the Middle East, in military, political as well as economic terms. Further, the EU could offer future membership to Israel and, in a subsequent round, Palestine, the offer being made conditional upon a meeting of EU standards of democracy and human rights.
Appendix: Positions of the Actors
Sharon in his address to the Knesset on the 14th of May 2002:
(...) Israel wants to enter into peace negotiations and will do so as soon as two basic terms for the establishment of a genuine peace process are met:
The complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement.
- The Palestinian Authority must undergo basic structural reforms in all areas (...)
When these two basic terms are met, we will be able to enter into a settlement in stages, including a lengthy intermediate stage in which relations between us and the Palestinians will be determined. Afterwards, after we see how the Palestinians build their society and self-governing administration, after we are convinced that they desire a true peace-then we will be able to advance towards discussions on determining the character of the permanent settlement between us and them.
Found at: www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0lpk0, seen: 19 September 2004.
The PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department provides the following summary of Palestinian Positions with regard to the final settlement.
Found at: www.nad-plo.org/permanent/sumpalpo.html, seen: 19 September 2004.
On the 24th of June 2002, the Bush administration announced its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
Borders: (...) the international borders between the States of Palestine and Israel shall be the armistice cease-fire lines in effect on June 4, 1967. Both states shall be entitled to live in peace and security within these recognised borders. (...)
- Statehood: By virtue of their right to self-determination, the Palestinian people possess
sovereignty over the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip and, accordingly, have the right to establish an independent State on that territory.
- Jerusalem: (...) East Jerusalem is (...) part of the territory over which the Palestinian state shall exercise sovereignty upon its establishment. The State of Palestine shall declare Jerusalem as its capital.Jerusalem should be an open city. Within Jerusalem, irrespective of the resolution of the question of sovereignty, there should be no physical partition that would prevent the free circulation of persons within it. As to sites of religious significance, most of that are located within the Old City in East Jerusalem, Palestine shall be committed to guaranteeing freedom of worship and access there. Palestine will take all possible measures to protect such sites and preserve their dignity.
- Settlements: Settlements are illegal and must be dismantled. (...)
- Refugees: Every Palestinian refugee has the right to return to his or her home. Every Palestinian refugee also has the right to compensation for their losses arising from their dispossession and displacement. (...)
- Relations with Neighbours: The State of Palestine as a sovereign state has the right
independently to define and conduct its foreign relations. The PLO will nevertheless seek to promote cooperation among Israel, Palestine, and neighboring States in fields of common interest.
(...) My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security. (...) Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. (...) And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbours, the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.
(...) The final borders, the capital and other aspects of this state's sovereignty will be negotiated between the parties, as part of a final settlement. (...)
I challenge Israel to take concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable, credible Palestinian state. As we make progress towards security, Israel forces need to withdraw fully to positions they held prior to September 28, 2000. And consistent with the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop. (...)
Ultimately, Israelis and Palestinians must address the core issues that divide them if there is to be a real peace, resolving all claims and ending the conflict between them. This means that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognise borders. We must also resolve questions concerning Jerusalem, the plight and future of Palestinian refugees, and a final peace between Israel and Lebanon, and Israel and a Syria that supports peace and fights terror. (...)
Found at: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/print/20020624-3.html, seen: 19 September 2004.
The full text of the Road Map is to be found at:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/20062.htm, seen: 19 September 2004.
In German: "Roadmap" (Fahrplan)
In its Declaration on the Middle East, passed by the meeting in Seville of the European Council on the 21st and 22nd of June 2002, the European Union made a few, rather vague, statements:
The European Council supports the early convening of an international conference. That conference should address political and economic aspects as well as matters relating to security. It should confirm the parameters of the political solution and establish a realistic and well-defined time scale. (...)
A settlement can be achieved through negotiation, and only through negotiation. The objective is an end to the occupation and the early establishment of a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders, if necessary with minor adjustments agreed by the parties. The end result should be two States living side by side within secure and recognised borders enjoying normal relations with their neighbours. In this context, a fair solution should be found to the complex issue of Jerusalem, and a just, viable and agreed solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees.
The reform of the Palestinian Authority is essential. The European Council expects the PA to make good its commitment to security reform, early elections and political and administrative reform. The European Union reaffirms its willingness to continue to assist in these reforms.
Military operations in the Occupied Territories must cease. Restrictions on freedom of movement must be lifted. Walls will not bring peace.
Found at: http://europa.eu.int/, seen: 19 September 2004. (Annex 6 to "Presidency Conclusions Seville European Council 21 and 22 June 2002")
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2961292.stm, seen: 19. September 2004.
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http://abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/World/hamas030603.html, seen: 19 September 2004.
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http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentaries/commentary_text.php4?id=1458&lang=1&m=series, seen: 19 September 2004.
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