You may read and download the entire Dubow German report for the date November 10, 2010 by clicking here.
"THE ROLE OF THE EU IN THE PEACE PROCESS"It is not be a secret that I, and many other observers of the Middle East peace process, feel that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy has not played a useful role in trying to bring Israel and the Palestinians together. Catherine Ashton seems to be so one-sided in opposition to Israel that, at least in my opinion, she has done more harm than good. With almost Pavlovian negative responses to anything Israel says or does, she places the EU in a less than neutral position – one which that precludes the EU from being genuinely helpful.In a recent Jerusalem Post article, Dr. Rory Miller of Kings College, London spells out a useful policy for the EU to follow which is antithetical to one being followed currently by Lady Ashton.Dr. Miller states, “Generations of European policy-makers have believed that a permanent settlement of this conflict on the basis of a two state solution is not only vital for the Middle East but, in the words of former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, is “fundamental to our own security.”They have also come to view Europe’s success in transforming its economic power into political influence in the conflict as a key indicator of its capacity to play a role on the international stage."This has been very apparent in recent weeks when the EU’s representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, rushed to the region from Washington to shore up the floundering peace talks following criticism that she failed to raise the international profile of the recently launched European External Action Service – a new mechanism designed to give the EU a stronger voice."If current US peace envoy George Mitchell can’t keep the Palestinians and Israelis talking, then it seems inconceivable that there is anything the EU can bring to the table that will. So what should Europe do? Recently Marc Otte, the EU’s special representative for Middle East peace, looked forward to the day that the EU would be “a full player” in the politics of the conflict."But the EU should stop measuring its success in contributing to peace in terms of its ability to score political points over the US, or gain a political role commensurate with its economic weight. Instead it should emphasize its longtime position as the international community’s lead donor to the PA as well as Israel’s number one trading partner."Though unglamorous, Europe’s budgetary support for Palestinian institutions and infrastructure, as well as its humanitarian, refugee and food aid has been hugely important to sustaining Palestinian society. It continues to be key to the state-building process."When a Palestinian state is finally established, the EU will play a crucial role in doing what it has done best in Europe over the past half century – promoting consensus and economic cooperation among former enemies in the interests of regional prosperity and long term stability. Europe, Israel and the Palestinians would all be well served if the EU fully acknowledged the importance of this role, not as a pretext for political influence, but as an end in itself."After reading Dr. Miller’s article I find myself applauding and yelling “Bravo!” I realize that things are moving in a more Euro direction and Germany pushed the Lisbon Treaty for what it saw as good reasons. However, when it comes to the Middle East, a singular German foreign policy somewhat more balanced could do a lot more to help the peace process than the course Catherine Ashton is plying at the moment. Given the realities of the situation, if the EU would follow the plan"Dr. Miller has laid out peace and tranquility would be better served.***********************************************