When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned to Ramallah this past weekend, he was greeted as if he had succeeded in liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation and oppression. Abbas proclaimed a "Palestinian Spring" upon his return, however the issue of the Palestinian cause is surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. But, the bid for statehood makes one thing certain: that U.S. influence in the region is waning. If anything was learned from the showdown at the UN, it was that Palestinians should look towards a Palestine-friendly Europe if they wish to become an independent, sovereign state.
For decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been mediated by American statesmen to no avail. Talks have resumed and been terminated, and agreements have seldom been reached. When agreements have been reached, they have represented no real progress in the troubled region. It is for these reasons that Palestine must now look to European powers to help mediate the conflict. There are much more Palestinian-friendly governments in Europe than there are in North America. European Socialists Group President Nyrup Rasmussen stated that “Europe supported Libya, Europe supported Egypt, now is the time to support the Palestinians.”
With such positive Palestinian sentiments present in Europe, its a legitimate wonder as to why Abbas does not talk to members of the European parliament instead of the White House.
It is likely to be a few weeks before the Security Council votes on the issue of statehood, and if the vote does occur and an American veto is required, there is no doubt that America will have lost its stance in the conflict. However in the mean time, the Quartet on the Middle East has called for the immediate resumption of talks between the two sides and an agreement reached by the end of 2012. With all this hanging in the balance, it is now time for Europe and the EU to take charge. If the statehood bid fails, the Palestinians can go to the General Assembly where they will have an automatic majority due to their allies in the Third World. However, if Europe were to vote with Palestine at the GA, the vote would be more than just symbolic, it would show a definite shift of influence.
This potential shift of support is vital to ensuring peace in the entire Middle East. As a result of the Arab Spring, Israel and Palestine, and Ahmadinejad in Iran, the Middle East resembles Europe in the run up to World War I. That is to say it is a powder keg, waiting for a spark to drag the world into yet another major conflict, one which has the potential to wreak havoc and cause irreparable damages to an already troubled and war torn region. It is for this reason, atop all the others, that Europe must save the two-state solution and that Palestine must now look towards European powers to obtain their sovereign, independent state.
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