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In following the development of European foreign policy toward the ongoing struggle between the Judaic State of Israel and the Arab states ( at the bosom of which is the inquiry of a Palestinian State ) . it may be helpful to understand the background of the struggle and the portion played by European states.

Palestine had been under Ottoman regulation for several centuries when it passed to British control after the First World War. At the clip of initial British gaining control in 1917. the part was occupied by about 670. 000 people. all but 50. 000 of which were Arab – largely Muslim with a little minority of Christians. Of the Judaic population. a few were Yemenite – “cultural Arabs” who had lived at that place for centuries and lived in comparative peace with their Muslim and Christian neighbours. Most nevertheless were recent immigrants. Under British regulation. misdirection and machination – along with conflicting promises made to both Jews and Arabs sing the constitution of independent provinces ( none of which were finally kept ) . tenseness and concerns among the resident population formed early on and continued to intensify through the resulting decennaries ( Fisher. 432-433 ) .

Aside from the British desire to procure oil supplies and entree to the Suez Canal – their chief ground for seeking a Zionist confederation ( Fisher. 433 ) – at that place seems to hold been small in the manner of serious policy on the portion of European powers for several decennaries. In the old ages instantly following the Cold War. Israel turned toward the West for support. With a significant Judaic population exerting important political power. the US authorities – so every bit now – had troublenonback uping Israel. Meanwhile. the other world power of the clip. the now-defunct USSR. Lent its support to the Arabs. While Stalinist antisemitism may hold played a portion in this in the beginning. finally. the Arab-Israeli struggle became yet another “proxy war” between the two world powers ( Fisher. 653-654 ) .

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In any event. policy on the struggle the European Common Market states ( precursor to the EU ) merely began to take form over a figure of old ages. and were the consequence of an increasing consciousness in Europe of the state of affairs being faced by the Palestinians ( Aoun. 290-291 ) . The Palestinian issue came to the head as a consequence of the 1967 Six-Day War. which resulted in a important and sudden alteration in the Gallic government’s policy toward Israel. Then-president Charles DeGaulle strongly condemned the intervention of Palestinian refugees by Israeli governments. This was followed up by an weaponries trade stoppage against both sides. Nonetheless. France continued to admit Israel’s right to be. and supported “many discriminatory agreements” with the EC ( Wikipedia. 2007 ) .

Following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. the nine members of the EC became involved in happening a declaration to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. On 6 November of that twelvemonth. EC representatives issued a statement mentioning to the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242 ( Aoun. 291 ) that called for “the constitution of a merely and permanent peace. ” every bit good as “a merely colony of the refugee problem” ( Foot. ) . The EC statement referred to the “legitimate rights” of Palestinians. and represented a important going from their earlier “unconditional support” of Israel.

As the US diplomatic negotiations failed to convey about any sort of significant declaration to the Palestinian job in the face of Israel’s increasing stubbornness. EC member provinces decided that stronger stairss were necessary. On 29 June 1977. the EC issued a announcement that called for the constitution of a Palestinian fatherland. Harmonizing to the announcement. any and all dialogues should include representatives of the Palestinian people. Even though Anwar Sadat’s peace overtures to Israel in November of that twelvemonth found blessing among European authoritiess. the EC continued to stress the demand for such dialogues ( Aoun. 291 ) .

Unfortunately. at the Camp David Accords. Sadat failed to procure greater grants from Israel sing the Palestinian issue ( Fisher. 674-675 ) . Ultimately. this led non merely to Sadat’s blackwash. but renewed Arab-Israeli struggles that continue to the present twenty-four hours.

Despite political force per unit area from Israel and the US. Western Europe’s leaders continued to take a firm stand on self-government for the Palestinians. publishing a statement to that consequence in June of 1980. This statement indicated a willingness on the portion of the EC to supervise the colony and maintain communications with all involved parties. every bit good as aid in coming up with an acceptable program ( Aoun. 291 ) .

However. small over a twelvemonth subsequently. the U. K. under arch-conservative and steadfast Reagan ally Margaret Thatcher at false presidential term of the EC. and European concern over the state of affairs cooled. This changed in 1986-87. when a series of Palestinian rebellions ( the “First Intifada” ) began. Europeans indicated a willingness to take portion in a peace conference that would include all regional histrions every bit good as the US and USSR. By the terminal of 1988. the state of affairs had becomes so violent that the EC decided to name a commission of foreign curates to actively advance a peace conference ( Aoun. 292 ) .

Events during the subsequent old ages – climaxing in a power vacuity caused by the prostration of the USSR – a major Palestinian ally – and the first US invasion of Iraq with the ensuing Iraqi missile onslaught on Israel – caused the EC to lose the enterprise as the US decided to “seek a definite solution” to the job ( Aoun. 292 ) . The events of 1991 convinced both sides that a declaration would be in their best involvement. The Olso Accord. originally drafted by Norse Minister of Foreign Affairs Johan Jorgen Holst. called for Israel to retreat from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and permit Palestinian self-determination in those countries under a “Palestinian Authority” for a period of five old ages. after which a lasting understanding would be negotiated ( Holst. 1992 ) . Both sides finally signed on to the Oslo Accord. and the new European Union pledged pecuniary support to both the procedure and a Palestinian National Authority. By late 1995. the EU began an enterprise to advance a more regional peace by advancing economic and political ties between all Eastern Mediterranean states ( Aoun. 292 ) .

The period between 1967 and 1991 was a history of increasing engagement on the portion of European states. If European engagement has non been instantly effectual in procuring a long-run peace between the Arab universe and Israel. it has at least brought the issues to the head ; in the face of US policy that overpoweringly supports Israel ( frequently unconditionally. it seems ) . the EU has been outspoken on the issues of the Palestinian right to a fatherland. even traveling so far as to widen diplomatic acknowledgment to the Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO ) and earnestly oppugning the legality of Judaic colonies in occupied districts.

Having experienced two major wars and a figure of smaller 1s over the class of the 20th century – and holding been a topographic point where “stateless” peoples such as the Rom ( Gypsies ) have lived – leaders of the EU member provinces understand that the cardinal demand for any kind of enduring peace between Israel and the Arab universe lies in the creative activity of a Palestinian State ( Aoun. 293 ) .

The current challenge appears to be coming up with a reciprocally acceptable solution ; traditionally. the EU has tried to take a “rational” attack. nevertheless – and peculiarly in recent old ages – the battlers have non been able to see the issues “rationally. ” For now. the peace procedure is in shambles as the US has lost international credibleness and the new EU continues to set up an individuality. Future efforts at a peace colony may really good depend on the development of the EU. and how active a function it chooses to take ( Aoun. 311-312 ) .

Plants Cited

Foreign dealingss of France. ( 10 March 2007 ) . 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/French_foreign_policy

Aoun. E. ( 2003 ) . European Foreign Policy and the Arab-Israeli Dispute: Much Ado About Nothing?European Foreign Affairs Review. 8. 289–312.

Fischer. S. N. ( 1990 ) .The Middle East: A History( Fourth ed. ) . New York: McGraw Hill.

Holst. J. J. ( 1993 ) . Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Agreements or Declaration of Principles.

Hugh Mackintosh Foot. B. C. ( 1967 ) . United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.