By Ted Belman, AMERICAN THINKER
The Western countries have dealt themselves a weak hand, yet they are going all in. Israel need only call their bluff. The pot they hope to win is an agreement, misnamed as a peace agreement, which will establish a Palestinian state on the ’67 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. But there are no takers on either side of the ’67 lines.
To win this pot, the EU is threatening Israel with sanctions and with an amendment to the existing Free Trade Agreement. They are also threatening to reduce economic cooperation. They want Israel to stop building settlements in places that will make the two state solution untenable. So far they have accomplished nothing with the threats and I venture to say if they implement their plans, Israel will initiate moves of its own.
Israel could call their bluff by building in such places. Israel can take the heat. The EU is trying to apply sanctions only against products built in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). This will hurt the Palestinians more than anyone and Israel has alternate markets for their products.
Israel could also up the ante by threating to prohibit European venture capital from making deals for Israeli innovations. China, India, Japan, Singapore and others already have a seat at the table. And Israeli trade with these countries is increasing exponentially and deals are being made. Israel’s trade with China in 2014 exceeded her trade with the US.
Tony Blair, the EU’s economic envoy, recently visited Gaza for two hours and said. “You could lock Israeli-PA negotiators in room for eternity and peace would not come.” He laid out three preconditions to a “successful peace process.”
“dramatic and broad improvement” in the daily lives of Palestinians
“unified Palestinian politics” that “explicitly is in favor of peace and two states, meaning a sovereign State of Palestine and a secure, accepted State of Israel.”
“an enhanced role for the region, in alliance with the international community, which must step up to share leadership of the issue.”
None of these things are about to happen. That he is putting his money on these things, shows how bad a bet they are making. But he also laid the blame on Hamas and said they had to change.
Meanwhile the US is expressing concern that the PA may disappear soon due to its desperate need for money.
“It’s true we’re very concerned about the continued viability of the Palestinian Authority if they do not receive funds soon,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
The present shortage of funds is due entirely to the decisions and policies of the Palestinians. First of all 30% of their budget is usually covered by the international community. Yet they have no interest in living within their means or decreasing their dependency on foreign aid. In fact, their actions have resulted in this aid being curtailed. The US which provides about $400 million in yearly aid has now made the aid conditional …read more