Writes David Singer:
Revelations that the European Union (EU) has been acting illegally in funding and facilitating the construction of more than 400 unauthorised buildings in areas in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) under exclusive Israeli control signals the end of:
* negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap and
* the role of the Quartet - America, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - as mediator in those negotiationsThe Daily Mail – in exposing the EU’s bizarre behaviour – reported on 6 February that:
“Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C (the Israeli area)’, which some experts say is an attempt to unilaterally affect facts on the ground. Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West Bank. They proudly fly the EU flag, and display hundreds of EU stickers and signs. Some also bear the logos of Oxfam and other NGOs, which have assisted in the projects.”The EU through its spokesman, Shadi Othman, attempted to justify such conduct by reiterating the EU’s unilateral opinion as to the final outcome of the currently stalled negotiations:
"We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited Areas A and B. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land.”Why Israel's approval was not first sought before the EU surreptitiously undertook such activity remains unexplained.
Representatives of the Quartet – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov , United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson (representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon) met in Munich on February 8 – two days after the European Union's illegal actions were exposed – but no mention was made of the EU’s devious conduct nor was there any call for it to be immediately halted.
The remaining three Quartet members have – by their silence – clearly signalled they condone such illegal conduct by the EU and support its continuation.
Hypocritically, the Quartet Representatives declared:
“Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.”It is hard to conceive any action more likely to undermine trust or prejudge final status issues than the Quartet’s failure to condemn the EU’s own aberrant behaviour and call for an immediate halt to its illegal activities in the West Bank.
The Quartet Representatives repeated their mantra:
“A sustainable peace requires the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution.”The parameters under which those negotiations were being held between Israel and the PLO have now been well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history as a result of the EU’s disgraceful conduct – joining so many other failed proposals made since 1920 aimed at ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.
The Quartet has been found sadly wanting and is clearly out of tune – abandoning any sense of impartiality or propriety in aligning itself with one party to the dispute.
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has now directed that action be commenced to demolish these illegal EU structures.
The Quartet has been totally compromised – the peace process and its intricate negotiating structure irretrievably ended.
Back to the drawing board for yet another new proposal...