vrijdag 11 februari 2011

Uri Rosenthal in Israel: eenzijdige erkenning Palestijnse staat helpt de vrede niet

 
Minister Rosenthal spreekt zich duidelijk pro-Israel uit, en al is hij ook duidelijk over een tweestatenoplossing en kritisch over de nederzettingen, dit is bij hem voor de afwisseling eens niet het enige of hoofdprobleem. Hij ligt inmiddels behoorlijk onder vuur vanwege zijn harde opstelling tegenover Iran, en SP-er Harry van Bommel legde gisteren op TV uit dat een boycot van Iran alleen de bevolking treft. We exporteren voor ca. een half miljard per jaar naar Iran, en dat zou door de verslechterde relaties onder druk komen te staan. Vreemd dat Van Bommel en co dat probleem nooit hebben waar het Israel betreft, en dan wel voor sancties pleiten. Het is waar dat Rosenthal met persoonlijk kontakt met zijn ambtsgenoot waarschijnlijk meer had kunnen bereiken, maar ik kan mij ook voorstellen dat het hem tegenstaat om bij de Iraanse minister voor buitenlandse zaken, die onderdeel is van een regime dat de Holocaust ontkent en Israel van de kaart wil vegen, te gaan smeken om de executie van Baghrami alstublieft toch nog even uit te stellen. Het is in feite toch een schurkenregime waarmee je dan onderhandelt en om de tafel gaat zitten. De moord op Baghrami en de manier waarop een en ander is gegaan bewijzen dat nog eens ten overvloede. Persoonlijk ben ik er niet rouwig om als de relaties met dit regime verder verslechteren, en mag Rosenthal wat dat betreft zijn poot stijf houden. Wel hoop ik dat er wat meer Europese steun komt voor Nederland in dit conflict. Als Europa wat eensgezinder op zou treden in kwesties als deze dan dwingt dat ook meer respect af elders in de wereld.
 
RP
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Dutch FM: Recognition of Palestinian state does no good




In interview with 'Post', Rosenthal also warns against exaggerating how bad things are for Israel inside EU.

The recent recognition by some countries of a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood "does not do any good whatsoever," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

Rosenthal's comments during an interview with the Post came before an afternoon meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, during which Netanyahu stressed that a unilateralist track will "kill negotiations with the Palestinians."

Netanyahu, in separate meetings with Rosenthal and visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez, said that if the Palestinians believe that the unilateral option is getting closer, "then this will push negotiations further away."
 
While the Dutch parliament recently passed a resolution calling on the government to work against EU recognition of a Palestinian state, Spain is considered in Jerusalem as one of the countries who could conceivably follow the South American lead and take such a move.

Rosenthal said he has not heard of any European countries on the verge of following the Latin American lead.

"If that would be part of the discussion in the EU framework, I would definitely not be in favor of such steps," Rosenthal said. "We have to be very prudent and careful about what we are doing."  While saying that "on the one hand steps should be taken" to move the diplomatic process forward, Rosenthal said that the approach adopted by a number of Latin American countries "doesn't help at all to bring the Middle East  process to a higher level."

Rosenthal, who is Jewish and married to an Israeli, was characterized recently by Czech foreign minister Karl Schwarzenberg as one of the two most active supporters of Israel among EU foreign ministers – the other being Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

Rosenthal, who said he is not uncomfortable with that characterization, said he is "among the ones" inside the EU who "regularly try to warn against unnecessarily inflammatory language" regarding Israel. 

"We have seen over the last few months some events where some of the EU partners were eager to engage in straightforward initiatives, and I was among those who said, 'Lets keep a little bit more restrained attitude, and look especially at whether this will be conducive to the Middle East peace process at large'."

He said that this was the case concerning discussion about the situation in Gaza.

"If you take a positive stance toward Israel you might expect from Israel something "in return," he said." I'm happy to say that in the last few months Israel has taken an open attitude toward the requests made by the Dutch government to be more lenient on exports and goods from Gaza; that is a subtle game."

On Friday – as part of a package of steps taken after intensive consultation with  Quartet envoy Tony Blair -- Netanyahu announced a number of measures to improve the Palestinian economy, including easing exports from Gaza.

Rosenthal said his government was active in countering trends to delegitimize Israel, and countering Israel bashing and "the use of inflammatory language that is disproportionately expressed in the direction of Israel."

But at the same time, Rosenthal -- who arrived Monday for two days of meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah -- rejected the description of Israel's standing now in the EU as being the lowest it has been in decades.

"I think this is an exaggeration," he said. "When you look at the conclusions of a series of consul of foreign affairs ministers' meetings you will see balanced conclusions vis-a-vis the Middle East peace process."

Rosenthal also dismissed reports that the US was interested in the EU taking a tough stand on Israel, since domestic political constraints prevented Washington from doing so itself -- a kind of good cop-bad cop arrangement.

"I hear that story over and over again," he said. "I would not like to be placed in the position of the bad cop; I don't think the Europeans like to placed in position of bad cops."

Rosenthal diplomatically declined to weigh in on the debate whether it was "undemocratic" for the Knesset to establish a committee to investigate where certain NGOs were getting their funds, saying this was "for the Knesset to decide". Holland is among the European countries that donate to NGOs operating in Israel and the PA.

"There is no reason to hide anything," he said of the establishment of the Knesset panel. "I am in favor of transparency."  He also said that a "vivid and lively civil society, where NGOs are a part of it, is very important."
 
 

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