July 24, 2015
Europe Goes Back to the “Peace Process” – Elliott Abrams
There are millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. ISIS threatens Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. The new Iran nuclear deal would deliver $150 billion in cash to the Islamic Republic of Iran. ISIS and other jihadis are increasingly active in Sinai. What is the European Union’s reaction to all these threats? To turn once again to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
France has been talking about a new UN Security Council resolution and European leaders have been discussing replacing the Quartet with some new mechanism. But the growth of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda makes an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank even more dangerous to Israel and Jordan – and to the Palestinians. Abbas’ advanced age makes it ever less likely that he will take a leap and sign any agreement, and as the years pass since the last Palestinian elections (2005), he has less and less legitimacy to make such decisions.
So the European decision to turn its efforts to insisting on a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement are foolish and will lead nowhere. Arab governments such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan are not clamoring for this EU effort and recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is marginal to their own security needs and nightmares. To the Sunni Arab governments, Israel looks like an ally against the jihadis and against Iran. The writer, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor. (Council on Foreign Relations)