Wednesday, November 02, 2005
EU Asked To Guard Egyptian/Gaza Border
The EU has been set a major foreign policy challenge following a request by the Israeli government to monitor the Egyptian-Gaza border, with EU officials to have real enforcement capacities.It's a brilliant move by the Israelis. Either the EU has to give up its pretensions to significance, or it will have to face the reality itself.... And it will be a lot harder to cling to the idea of total Palestinian victimhood if they are patroling....
The Israeli inner cabinet, a circle of the most senior ministers, on Tuesday (1 November) voted to call upon EU inspectors to be engaged in monitoring the Rafah crossing between the Gaza strip and Egypt.
Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom said, according to Israeli daily Haaretz, "Our objective is for the Europeans to have enforcement capabilities in the field, and not just a symbolic presence".
The Palestinian Authority supports the idea of the EU sending border observers, but it disagrees with Israel on the European mandate.
Ghassan Hatib, who leads the Palestinian team negotiating on the Rafah issue, said according to UK paper the Independent "The EU will be monitors. If they notice something is happening in violation of the agreements and the standards, then they will ask the Palestinians to correct things".
He added that the European role should be "confidence-building, not enforcing".
So set up your bets now. Will they, or won't they?
Oh, and regarding reality in the ME? Both The Anchoress and Sigmund, Carl and Alfred resorted to the memory hole on the question of intelligence about WMDs in Iraq. One moment it was universal doctrine. The next, it was Rove's doing....
Either the EU has to give up its pretensions to significance, or it will have to face the reality itself.... And it will be a lot harder to cling to the idea of total Palestinian victimhood if they are patroling....
While I grant you the logic of what you are saying, they have managed to find their way down much more complicated pathways than that one. I don't see why they would change now.
They might actually have to be honest brokers, for a change. That isn't going to make Abbas, Hamas and Jihad very happy.
SC&A, I bet they were more than surprised. It is a very wise move by Israel. I do believe that the Palestinians don't like the idea....
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