“As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem. And you know, you can always count on us Europeans to reiterate our belief that the only viable solution is the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.”
— EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
The prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state are “being constantly eroded,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Sunday, vowing that the EU would never cease its support for a two-state solution that would see East Jerusalem became the capital of Palestine.
At the Arab League’s annual summit in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, she also vowed to work toward “preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem.”
“The situation on the ground is getting worse and worse. Tensions are high on the border between Israel and Gaza,” Mogherini said. “The viability of a State of Palestine — including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem — is being constantly eroded.”
A new peace plan for Israel and Palestine landed literally on my doorstep this morning.
It came in the form of a cautionary feature story in The New York Times, warning of the risks which Brexit poses to the arduously won peace process in Ireland. But it was how the piece began, that got me to thinking that the wisdom in it might benefit the peoples of the Holy Land as well:
Crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic used to involve delays, checkpoints, bureaucratic harassment and the lurking threat of violence. That it’s now virtually seamless — that you can drive across without even knowing it — feels close to miraculous.
For both Israelis and Palestinians, sick to death of bloodletting and disillusionment, one of the few points of common ground is the sense that it would take a miracle to forge a viable peace. At this point, when people on both sides ask, and with good reason, “What’s in it for me?” — bitter experience is scant incentive. It is not for nothing that the Holy Land is where peace initiatives come to die.
But what if there were a peace plan that actually offered the people on both sides something that they truly would want?
An EU passport, for example.
Here’s the hint: When the United Kingdom held its June, 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, Northern Ireland voted against Brexit by a clear majority. Here’s the plan: Israel and the Palestinian Authority apply for membership in the European Union.