Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Protesters in France march in support of Palestine. (Photo: Farfahinne/cc/flickr)

Europe is a Weenie on Palestine

Marc H. Ellis

 by Mondoweiss

It’s amazing that at this late date, the European Union, in secret, is considering, upping its disapproval of Israel’s occupation policies, drawing, perhaps, some redlines, that don’t even pretend to free Palestinians or bring about a Palestinian state. Don’t these ostensibly subversive EU Israel-Palestine policy wonks understand that their confidential considerations would actually enable Israel’s continued occupation?

Perhaps this is the reason these highly confidential discussions have been leaked.

The redline policy the EU is considering and reported by Haaretz is about forcing Israel not to foreclose the very distant and ill-defined possibility of a Palestinian state. Listen to the policies being considered that seem so exclusive they can’t yet be seen in the light of day:

According to current EU policy, any upgrading or development of ties to Israel is conditioned on actions it might carry out to advance the peace process and the two-state solution. The principle in the new document is that the EU will respond with sanctions and restrict its ties with Israel in response to actions that could make the two-state solution impossible.

European diplomats familiar with the document say it discusses Israeli actions that would constitute a red line for the EU. For example, it mentions advancement of construction in the E1 area between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem; construction of the Givat Hamatos neighborhood and additional construction in Har Homa south of Jerusalem, both of which are over the Green Line in Jerusalem. The EU believes that such construction puts at risk territorial contiguity of the Palestinian state and might make it impossible for Jerusalem to be the capital of both states.

Sanctions mentioned by the document include marking products manufactured in the settlements in EU supermarkets; limiting cooperation with Israel in various areas; and even restrictions on the free-trade agreement with Israel.

Quite explosive, indeed, limiting the upgrading of trade and even, God knows, levying tariffs on Israeli settlement goods! Not discussed, the EU and individual European countries buying security and military technologies from Israel or, in fact, restricting trade and other cooperation with Israel proper.

With Gaza still awaiting reconstruction with goods bought from Israel, yet another series of confidential documents and anonymous leaks documenting this strange confluence of destruction/construction, sarcasm is in order. The level of hypocrisy is cautionary, if not outrageous.

So far Europe has been unwilling to sacrifice even its Middle Eastern policy ties with the United States, let alone assert its own vaunted EU foreign policy values on behalf of Palestinians. That the threat to Israel would become a huge international firestorm if the secret deliberations became public, passed and implemented, is also telling.

Unasked is what these sanctions would mean on the ground. Forbidding foreclosure of a two-state solution that everyone knows has already been foreclosed isn’t bold at all. Such a debate and policies if implemented would only buy Israel more time to consolidate its occupation.

Perhaps the EU’s not-so-secret deliberations are really about forcing Israel to finalize what is left over from Israel’s expansion – a truncated, dependent, Israel-Egypt-United Nations-NATO occupied Palestinian autonomy.

© 2021 Mondoweiss

Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is an author, liberation theologian, and Associate Fellow to the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace, Costa Rica.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Fulton County Subpoenas of Trump Allies Offer Hope 'That Justice Will Ultimately Be Served'

"The coordinated attempts by former President Donald Trump and his associates to discount and ignore the will of Georgian voters during the 2020 election cannot be swept under the rug," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett ·

Russian Official Makes Nuclear Threat Over US Support for Ukraine War Crimes Probe

Another official responded to Western sanctions by suggesting that Russia could reclaim Alaska.

Brett Wilkins ·

Biden Denounced for Imposing New Sanctions as Iran Nuclear Talks Falter

One Middle East expert accused the U.S. administration of "continuing and embracing Trump's max pressure policy, while expecting a different result."

Brett Wilkins ·

Under 'Draconian Abortion Ban,' Woman in El Salvador Sentenced to 50 Years for Pregnancy Loss

Laws like El Salvador's are "now being replicated in states across the U.S.," noted one observer.

Julia Conley ·

Warren, Sanders, and Others Blast Biden's 'Failure' on Federal Cannabis Policy

While commending Biden's pardons and commutations, six senators wrote that "much more has to be done to address the racist and harmful legacy of cannabis policies on Black and Brown communities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo