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Home > Events > Conferences > PASSIA: Palestinians Want a More Involved EU

PASSIA: Palestinians Want a More Involved EU

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04 November 2013
Palestinian diplomats and researchers are calling for greater EU involvement in Palestinian-Israeli relations. They praise the EU’s multi-level perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—the combination of the political, economic and social aspects of the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis —but at the same time, they criticise the EU's dependence on U.S. positions. They want the EU—the largest donor to the Palestinians—to continue to support institution-building for a future Palestinian state, though they noted that even with the large financial input the EU is not popular on the Palestinian street. According to a delegation from Palestinian think tank PASSIA, Palestinian youth have a negative opinion of the EU's role in the peace process because Europe remains only a payer, not a player.

Their criticism stems from disappointment with what they insist is a lack of sufficient pressure from European countries on Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories. The Palestinians, for example, want Poland to encourage the Jewish community in the country to neutralise negative opinions of “Palestine”, and to promote the benefits of supporting “Palestine” according to the notion of “if you love Palestine, vote for Palestine, if you love Israel, vote for Palestine as well”. The Palestinians argued that the two state-solution is not only the goal of the Palestinians but also of Israel, for which the occupation will be detrimental in the long term. Moreover, the concept of “security” should be reformulated and demystified, as the Palestinians insist “security” has become a catch-all argument for violations of rights and international law.

Due to deeply rooted grievances between the two parties, the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has only a long-term perspective, and some insist it is even impossible to resolve. However, the new regional environment—especially the destabilisation of neighbouring countries, particularly Syria, which is engulfed in a civil war—makes the Israelis as well as the Palestinians understand that their bilateral problems might not be as dramatic as they have perceived them . This, in turn, could even stimulate new initiatives, such as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent work in the Middle East.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict was discussed by members of PISM and PASSIA at a jointly organized seminar in Warsaw as a follow-up to a similar session in November 2012 in Ramallah and Jerusalem. The Palestinian delegation included Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Dr. Sabri Saidam, and H.E. Afif Safieh.

The “Middle East and North Africa” project kindly requests that those who are professionally active in economic and social projects related to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to send information about their activities and practical ideas for the development of these and other research to hoarau@pism.pl.

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