Realigning EU Policy in Palestine Towards a Viable State Economy and Restored Dignity
The approach advocated by this paper is not the so-called ‘economic peace’. Economic development is not a substitute for political rights. As an educated and entrepreneurial people, Palestinians are capable of creating a viable economy that would support a sovereign state unreliant on foreign aid.
The EU policy shift would have to entail effective engagement of Israelis and Palestinians to address each other’s security requirements in accordance with international standards. This includes addressing Israel’s occupation and its ‘layering’ of measures under the name of security that undermine Palestinian economic development. A crippled Palestinian economy does not make Israel safer, but it meanwhile diminishes Palestinian dignity and hope for the future.
Such a shift in policy on the part of the EU would better align Europe with its own ENP objectives, and would be a critical positive response to political factors at play in the Middle East. It would fill the void arising from the reduced US focus on Israel and Palestine. However, this policy shift would be enhanced if it were fortified with a degree of US acceptance – if not support.
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