We live in unprecedented times of peace.For those in the Middle East that may seem a quite extraordinary statement to make.Europe has created a peace system that has produced the longest peace in all its history. Since the end of the Second World War western Europe has experience a period of 71 years of peace. The longest period of peace in all two thousand years of written history before then was shy of 50 years. Usually it was a matter of a few decades. Quite often there were wars simultaneously burning across western Europe.
Is this an example that the European Union’s External Action Service (EEAS) is aware of ? Does it treasure it as its most valuable asset?Is the EEAS really interested in peace in the Middle East?You certainly would not believe it from the latest Quartet report at the beginning of the month. (The Quartet is composed of the EU, UN, Russia and USA) here is an extract of what the Quartet report says:
“The Quartet reiterates that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues.”
Europe’s peace did not come from a Two State Solution, TSS. So why does the Quartet believe such a solution — that others consider to be suicidal for the Jewish State — is an example for the Near East? Not only does the Quartet believe the TSS is A solution, it says it is the ONLY solution.
Europe tried the Two State Solutions for two thousand years. They all failed. You can take almost any two States and see if they ever learned to live in peace. Usually one State went to war with another. It took territory. It weakened its opponent. The victor thought that it would be able to live off these fruits for ever. That always proved impossible. The rich victor grew fat and oppressive. The vanquished took the challenge of its defeat to rise from the ashes and keep fit and lithe. Eventually it could take on its former enemy in war. Often it won and took back its land and other lands too.
The European Community was as radically different from this sad record of war and peace and temporary Two State Solutions. It was as different as classical physics is from Relativity or Quantum Mechanics.When I asked the Commission spokesperson why they were unable to recommend Europe’s own peace process — one that evidently worked for seven decades — they were unable to give a rational explanation.
“It remains our conviction that a two State solution is the only way forward.”
Does the EEAS then have a much deeper problem?Unfortunately yes. The Spokesperson was also unable to provide a well-argued case about who illegally occupied the area the UN used to call Judea and Samaria before 1967.Wasn’t it occupied illegally by Jordan?
‘I wouldn’t go into the historical debate about the conflict itself because the report is looking towards the future and trying to move the talks into the direction of a solution.’
That “Solution” is in direct conflict with peace. 2000 years of European experience proves it. The direction is that which always produced the international equivalent of a car crash in the past.If there are not enough people with historical background in peace studies inside the very institution that has achieved peace, are we to suspect that they want a car crash?It is within the lifetimes of many people to recall the events of 1967. They will be celebrated next year as the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. The land of what the EU calls the West Bank was then illegally occupied by Jordan. Jordan itself was and is a State carved “temporarily” out of the British Mandate territory for the Jewish Homeland. It was recognized by treaty by the UK and Pakistan. Why? Because other States were ashamed that this murky deal had been made — or like some States such as Saudi Arabia — they did not want to associate a State with the Hashemite dynasty that the Saudis had kicked out of Mecca and Arabia.
For decades and centuries, in fact millennia, before 1947 the term “Palestinian” meant JEW! Israeli war hero Moshe Dayan’s family were called Palestinians in their British passports! Arabs come from Arabia!
Seventy years ago, on 14 July 1946 Winston Churchill and Robert Schuman laid the foundations of Europe’s astounding peace. The EEAS should get to know its own story before it preaches about peace plans (that don’t work) elsewhere!