The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Pressure on Israel: What, are we Arabs to be pressured?

Akiva Eldar in Haaretz, on US and EU moves to pressure Israel on the two-state solution, settlements:

International pressure on neighbors has always been a welcome and even essential tool. Without pressure from the outside why would Iran give up, voluntarily, its nuclear capability? If the United States does not pressure Syria to disengage from terrorist groups, what reason does Damascus have to clash with Hamas and Hezbollah? Were it not for the pressure applied by the Reagan administration on the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian National Council would not have declared a cessation of the armed struggle against Israel and would not have adopted UN Resolution 242. Presumably Benjamin Netanyahu will not complain about pressure that the Obama administration might apply against the Palestinians; for example, to push them to recognize Israel as a state of the Jewish people.

However, the legitimacy of international pressure comes to an end when it has to do with Israeli interests, or more precisely, with what the politician at the wheel perceives as Israeli interests. Why should the European Union pressure Netanyahu to resume the negotiations on a permanent settlement? Where did this audacity come from, to condition upgrading ties with Israel on the commitment of its government to abide by a two-state solution? What are they thinking? Are we Arabs?

That last line reminds me of Rahm Emmanuel's dad, except it's used sarcastically of course. About time the US and EU started tying Israeli behavior and settling to loan guarantees (US) and advanced status agreement (EU).