Thursday, September 07, 2006

EU Considers Staggering

Evidently, after seriously over doing things at the last pro-Palestinian party, the EU is considering staggering towards a workable peace. They are not against Israeli demands, exactly. They just think that asking the Palestinians to agree to them all at once is a bit harsh. Well what are these Israeli demands that are causing so much trouble?

With realignment apparently dead and any diplomatic process with the Palestinians stagnant, some voices inside the EU are calling for the three preconditions to talks with Hamas to be "revisited," The Jerusalem Post has learned.

These voices, according to European officials, are not advocating dropping the three conditions - ending terrorism, accepting previous agreements and recognizing Israel - but rather staggering them so an opening is created for talks with the Palestinian Authority.
The triumph of process over performance.
"No one is questioning the need for the three conditions," a senior European diplomatic source said. "But maybe if you cannot get wholesale adherence by Hamas to these three conditions, why not start with one, and see where that gets us."
So which condition should the Israelis start with? Ending terrorism? Israel got lots of agreements about ending terrorism from the previous Palestinian Government. Terrorism never stopped. The reasons the Palestinians gave for that was - "it was the other wing" or "we have no control". Which leads us to accepting previous agreements, which were never kept. OK that leaves us with recognition of the State of Israel. Something Hamas has vowed never to do. I think Israel is right to demand the whole package. After all the package is the minimum condition for further progress with the Road Map.
He said that the one condition that should be insisted upon is an immediate stop to terrorism. "That is more important than the rest," he said. "After that, we could talk about getting them to accept the Oslo framework."

This, he said, could then lead to the implied recognition of Israel, because the Oslo framework is predicated on a two-state solution.

"But this [recognition of Israel] is not something that needs to be up front," he said.
As I pointed out no Palestinian government has ever stopped terrorism. In fact more terrorism was part of the platform Hamas ran under in the recent elections. Which Hamas won. As usual the EU lives in a dream world.
Diplomatic officials in Israel acknowledged that there were voices calling for a reassessment of the three conditions inside Europe.

But, one said, "for the time being" it does not look like Europe would "soften" the three conditions or stagger them. But, he stressed, the operative words were "for the time being," and this might change as these voices gain traction.

The concern is that if Hamas continues to stubbornly toe "a hard line," the Europeans will say: "Oops, maybe we should cave in," he said, adding however that as of now Germany, Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark and Holland are holding firm behind the three conditions.
Which has been the Palestinian negotiating tactic from day one. Get their opposition to bid against themselves. Demands turn into suggestions which turn into optional moves followed by irrelevancy.

I suppose that the EU is trying to maintain its traditional international standing. Irrelevant.

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