PS: the EU should recognize Palestine and to resist the USA

PS: Евросоюз должен признать Палестину и дать отпор США

It seems that the US just destroyed any surviving hope of a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the principle of two States. Statement by Secretary of state Mike Pompeo that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank of the Jordan river did not violate international law, defy the long-established global consensus. The rest of the world is obliged to fight back.There can be no doubt that Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories violates international law. After the Second world war, the fourth Geneva Convention establishes that occupying the country “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Under the Rome Statute establishing the international criminal court in 1998, such a relocation is considered a war crime.Moreover, when Israel began its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories in 1967, the UN Security Council in its resolution 242 condemned his actions for violation of consensus after the Second world war, on the inadmissibility of seizure of land by military means.In 2016, the Security Council adopted another resolution, which stated that the construction of settlements by Israel in Palestinian territory “has no legal force”, is a “flagrant violation” of international law and is “one of the main obstacles” in the way of settlement in accordance with the principle of coexistence of two States. (Instead of the usual for the U.S. to veto such resolutions, the administration of President Barack Obama abstained from voting).Just a few days before the Declaration Pompeo, the European court upheld the logic of the UN, ruling that goods produced in Israeli-occupied territories, must have an appropriate, clearly labeled. In its ruling, the court unambiguously declared that the settlement “is a concrete manifestation of the policy of displacement” that Israel holds outside its own territory “in violation of the rules of General international humanitarian law.”However, the United States has long refused to acknowledge this reality. Only one US administration of President Jimmy Carter bluntly stated that Israel’s settlement policy is illegal; it relied on the legal opinion of the Department of state, 1978. Who replaced Carter Ronald Reagan publicly condemned this position. The rest of the US administration usually criticized settlements as an obstacle to peace and called on Israel to stop the construction, but refrained from calling them illegal.It is not surprising that Israeli officials welcomed the statement Pompeo. Hold extreme right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in the recent parliamentary election campaign promised to expand Israel’s sovereignty on all Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, said that the administration of U.S. President Donald trump has corrected a “historical mistake”.Netanyahu now his problems: he was unable to form a government, and he was just charged with corruption. However, his main rival, benny Gantz (he, too, failed to form a government), similarly welcomed the reversal, saying that “the fate of settlements should be determined by agreements that meet the requirements of safety and contributing to the world.”Although the future of Israeli policies remains unclear, the risk of renewed rush of settlement construction should not be underestimated. In a situation when the United States firmly on the side of the most extreme “hawks” of Israel, the rest of the international community rests the task to prevent such an outcome. And to lead this process needs the EU.After reversal of us policy, the foreign policy chief of the European Union Federica Mogherini has confirmed that the EU’s position against Israeli settlement policy “remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law”, it “reduces the likelihood of settlement based on the principle of two States and prospects for a lasting peace”.However, the EU is not the first time criticizes Israel’s behavior. Moreover, criticism of Israel the European Union is often very sharp — from the condemnation of the deportation by Israel, the local Director of the organization Human Rights Watch (alleged support for the idea of a boycott) to condemnation of the Israeli soldiers shooting at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators; but at the same time the EU maintains close diplomatic, economic and political ties with this country.Words are not enough. If European leaders (or any leaders in the world) want to help bring to life the concept of an independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel, they have only two options: to officially recognize Palestine as an independent state or to cease to recognize the state of Israel — as long as he does not prove the seriousness of their intentions to reach a settlement on negotiations.Already, the parliaments of most European countries voted for the recognition of Palestine as an independent state within the borders before 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, only Sweden has implemented this decision, while the EU advises other countries to wait till the perfect moment for further action, i.e. a moment when a single decision to recognize Palestine could produce a real effect. Today, this moment.If you leave Palestinians at the mercy of the Israeli occupiers, this will only lead to the continued cycle of violence that has lasted for decades. Powerful allies, such as the EU, is able to break this vicious circle, but that they should support their words with deeds. And not one action can be a stronger signal than the recognition of Palestine by all European Union countries as independent occupied state and the establishment with them of corresponding relations.It may be, and will not force Israel to suddenly pack up and leave Palestinian territory. But such a move will discourage Israel’s leadership, animated by a reckless decision last trump, the desire to try to expand existing settlements and build new — or even to begin annexation of Palestinian territory. In this case, the EU will face the prospect of a full-fledged apartheid state right at its doorstep.

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