dinsdag 8 december 2009

Vredesproces Midden-Oosten is geen IKEA meubel uit Zweden

De EU moet zijn oproep om te onderhandelen natuurlijk in de eerste plaats aan de Palestijnen richten, die maar blijven weigeren om weer met Israel om de tafel te gaan zitten. Vreemd genoeg reppen de ministers daarover met geen woord, maar hebben zij het wel over 'provocaties' in Oost-Jeruzalem:
The draft released Tuesday said the ministers are "deeply concerned about the situation in East Jerusalem" and urged both sides to avoid what it called "provocative actions."
Met 'provocatieve acties' bedoelt men waarschijnlijk zware misdaden als het bouwen van een paar huizen over de Groene Lijn, of het doen van opgravingen van bijzondere artefacten die de Joodse aanwezigheid in Oost-Jeruzalem in vroeger tijden aantonen, iets dat de Palestijnen pertinent ontkennen en waar ze dus niet zo blij mee zijn.
Last update - 18:41 08/12/2009       
Israeli officials to Sweden: Middle East peace is not IKEA furniture
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
Foreign Ministry officials responded with harsh criticism on Tuesday to a call by European Union ministers for negotiations over the status of Jerusalem, saying that Sweden, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, had failed.
Last week, Sweden presented a draft document supporting the division of Jerusalem and the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
"The peace process in the Middle East is not like IKEA furniture," one official said, making a reference to the do-it-yourself Swedish furniture chain. "It takes more than a screw and a hammer, it takes a true understanding of the constraints and sensitivities of both sides, and in that Sweden failed miserably."
The Foreign Ministry said that Tuesday's EU statement was substantially softer than Sweden's initial draft, once again demonstrating Sweden's failure as the rotating president of the union. "Sweden has done nothing over recent months to advance the Middle East peace process," the Foreign Ministry officials said. "The EU's only saving grace is that some of its members are responsible and moderate nations that didn't support the Swedish draft, which looked like something taken out of the Fatah platform at the Bethlehem conference."
The senior officials added that a group of nations had "saved the European Union from itself, since any other decision would have dealt severe harm to the relations between Jerusalem and Brussels, and would have prevented the EU from becoming an important partner in the peace process."
Earlier Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry issued an official response to the EU statement, saying that the "European Union ignores the primary obstacle to achieving a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians: the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table."
"Given the Israeli government's efforts to renew the negotiations, Israel regrets that the EU has chosen to adopt a text that, although containing nothing new, does not contribute to the renewal of negotiations," the statement continued.
"In light of the extreme draft originally presented by the Swedish presidency at the start of discussions, Israel does welcome the fact that at the end of the process the voices of the responsible and reasonable EU states prevailed, balancing and improving the text. We also welcome the recognition given to the measures and efforts taken by Israel to enable the resumption of negotiations," it went on to say.
"We expect the EU to act to promote direct negotiations between the parties, while considering Israel's security needs and understanding that Israel's Jewish character must be preserved in any future agreement," concluded the statement.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also issued a statement, saying that he "completely rejects the decision of the EU to support the division of Jerusalem," calling it a real danger for the future of Jerusalem and predicting that such a division would never work. Barkat noted that the recent celebration of the 20th anniversary of the reunification of Berlin reminds us that "no divided city in the history of the world has functioned properly."

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