Sunday, August 28, 2005

Today, Gaza; Tomorrow, Everything Else The Palestinians Want?

Ralph Kostant is back at his keyboard:
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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon actually believed that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Northern Samaria would buy Israel goodwill with the European Union, that illusion should be largely dispelled by now. In an appearing this weekend in Al Quds, an Arabic language newspaper published in Jerusalem (as reported here by the Arutz Sheva newsservice), the European Union’s Middle East Envoy, Mark Otte, stated that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and Northern Samaria is viewed by the European Union as a model for the West Bank and Jerusalem. According to Arutz Sheva:

"Our position regarding the West Bank and east Jerusalem is identical - they are occupied territories, and the future of Jerusalem will also be discussed in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," Mr. Otte told Al-Quds, a Jerusalem-based Arabic-language newspaper.

Otte dismissed statements by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Israel will retain large blocs of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in any permanent arrangement with the Palestinian Authority [PA]. Such commitments, the European Union envoy asserted, are nothing more than "spin" intended for internal Israeli consumption.

The EU also does not take seriously Israel's demand that the PA fulfill its commitments to disarm Arab terrorist groups. According to the Al-Quds interview, Mr. Otte said the EU does not demand that the PA confront terrorist groups militarily, or that the PA initiate a civil war in order to carry out its obligations.

In June, Mr. Otte defended European Union contacts with Hamas representatives, despite the organization being listed as a terrorist organization in EU countries, by saying that "if they are duly elected in free and fair elections under international supervision, you have to know what to do with elected representatives."
So there we have it: The Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, and all the more so the Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem are, in the eyes of the European Union, no less illegally occupied territory than Gaza. Israel must return to its pre-June 1967 borders with a width, at its narrowest point, of only 7 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinian Authority need not disarm terrorist militias [even though that is an obligation of the PA under the so-called Road Map to Middle East Peace] and Hamas is a legitimate representative of the Palestinians for European diplomatic purposes. Apparently the only binding obligation in the Road Map, in the opinion of the European Union, is that Israel give up territory, to the detriment of its security.

Ralph B. Kostant

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