European Union calling (again) for two-state solution

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MEPs voted today a resolution on achieving the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine. This resolution, following last fall’s debate on the question, acknowledges the “two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states” as the only way to move toward a resolution of the conflict.

 

According to the report and to polls led in February 2017 by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research and the Tami Steinmetz Centre for Peace Research, the two-state solution “remains the preferred option of both Palestinians and Israelis”. MEPs who adopted the resolution are therefore “firmly convinced” that this is the way to go. Alongside with the reassertion of this objective, the resolution condemns the expansion of settlements by the Israeli government, the blockade over Gaza, the continuous Palestinian disunity, as well as expresses concerns over the exploitation of Palestinian natural resources by Israel.

 

EU responsibilities were also at the heart of the report, with the Commission being encouraged to take a number of measures in order to reinitiate public diplomacy and coherence in EU policies with the region. Notably, the report is calling the Commission to establish an EU monitoring and compliance mechanism in relation to trade originating from the settlements, and to deny admissibility to legal documents issued in Israeli settlements.

 

Finally, the resolution suggests to fulfill European Parliament’s so-called responsibility in advancing the peace agenda through the launching of a ‘Parliamentarians for Peace’ initiative. This project would aim at gathering European, Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians to complement EU diplomatic efforts. Beyond the parliamentarians, a much-needed mention of the need to foster initiatives to build trust between political, non-state and economic actors was also underlined. If (EU) parliamentarians cannot do everything, and might sometimes prefer not to do anything, understanding that they have instead the ability to open the discourse to a multitude of stakeholders seems like a positive move in order to build an inclusive dialogue based on civil society rather than on resilient but rigid political structures.

 

Salomé Ietter

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