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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 12, 2003

Old Europe v. US (Ted Belman)

Good or bad for the Jews

Herb Keinon analyses this issue in The US-European chasm and the Jews. He presents two scenarios,
the Americans and the French and Germans will not want to see their spat over Iraq continue forever and color everything. Such a situation serves nobody's interest. Both sides realize the demands of the world, and will want to renew cooperation once the Iraqi situation is resolved.

And where better to mend things than in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

versus
France and Germany's unhelpful stance regarding the Iraqi threat and the attempt to reshape the Middle East will reflect on the possible role they could play in the Israel-Palestinian diplomatic process.

France's and Germany's obstinacy regarding Iraq will likely give the Americans the feeling they will not have to involve them in the process. The US will feel little obligation to allies who let them down.

I considered this issue in my article Wither the Road Map and concluded,

There is no way that after taking a lot of trouble to defeat one terrorist state, Iraq, is America going to create another. Mark my words.”

After Powell and the US have laboured so hard with the EU and the UN to get consensus and action on Iraq, I doubt that they are anxious to repeat the process on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. These parties, the US has learnt if they didn’t always know, are more of a hindrance then a help.

Secondly, it is one thing to negotiate a Road Map with the EU and the Arabs when they are feeling strong and we need their support in Iraq, it is an entirely different matter when Iraq has been defeated without France’s help and the Arabs are worried about their own regimes. Finally, the US has its hands full with the impending war on Iraq and the brewing problem with N. Korea.

This plan can take its place in the dustbin with Oslo, Mitchell and Tenent.
In other words, "Its good for the Jews."

Ze'ev Schiff in an article today in Ha'aretz U.S.-EU crisis is death blow to 'road map' seems to agree wiith me.
The crisis between the U.S. and Europe will have profound implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, undermining the Quartet's effort to impose a solution to the conflict on Israel, and strengthening the Sharon government's opposition to the Quartet "road map" and the prime minister's view that the "Bush framework" is the only relevant diplomatic arena for a political peace process.
In any event it will all await the war with Iraq.