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22 mars 2011 2 22 /03 /mars /2011 10:39


           guerra.jpg

Estamos atrapados en una paradoja. Por un lado no podíamos abandonar la oposición libia a su suerte ya que la conquista de Benghazi por Gadafi significaría una represión muy sangrienta y un retroceso general para la transición democrática en el norte de África. Por otra parte, los bombardeos están siendo considerados muy negativamente por la opinión pública árabe (el domingo pasado hubo una gran manifestación en el Cairo) que se encuentra muy sensibilizada por las intervenciones extranjeras en países musulmanes. 

La intervención militar que hace unos días parecía una obligación humanitaria y política ahora amenaza con debilitar la revolución árabe democrática al identificarla con las bombas que caen de los F-18 franceses y británicos en lugar de relacionarla con los  los derechos fundamentales y las libertades democráticas. Una prolongada campaña militar occidental podría ser muy contraproducente para los deseados cambios políticos que están siendo promovidos por millones de jóvenes de Marruecos hasta Yemen.  Probablemente una cierta intervención militar exterior, muy limitada y precisa fuera necesaria en Libia, pero ahora se deben primar objetivos políticos por otros medios más complejos.

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Nos parece importante frenar cuanto antes la acción militar y de formular una estrategia europea diplomática y económica.  Ya se ha conseguido debilitar a la estructura militar de Gadafi y de salvar el núcleo fuerte de la oposición democrática libia. Ahora seria más sensato proponer un alto de fuego basado en las actuales posiciones de las partes enfrentadas y con una clara linea de separación de las tropas de Gadafi de las ciudades en control de la oposición. La coalición europea podría condicionar la futura compra de recursos energéticos libios y la descongelación de parte de los activos financieros del régimen a la aceptación por parte de Gadafi de la entrada en Líbia de observadores de la Liga Árabe para vigilar el alto de fuego y asegurar la protección de los civiles, además de entablar negociaciones con la oposición con el doble objetivo de facilitar una transición democrática y de mantener la unidad territorial del país que ahora se encuentra en entredicho.

Lo peor seria convertir a Gadafi en una admirada víctima de una "agresión imperialista ávida de petróleo" en lugar de reconocer que es un dictador sangriento que lleva 40 años en el poder. Un boicot europeo al petróleo y gas libios junto con otras medidas económicas, además de la amenaza de más bombardeos, podrían obligar una salida política negociada bajo los auspicios de la ONU y la Liga Árabe.  

La otra alternativa es peor, sería la división territorial de Líbia. Pero una guerra prolongada con la continuada implicación extranjera sería aún más nefasta para el futuro de toda la región. 

 

David Hammerstein

Published by Europa en Verde - dans Internacional
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23 février 2011 3 23 /02 /février /2011 15:37

Este mensaje me ha llegado desde Libia por medio de una amiga argelina.  Da una idea de los motivos que mueven a muchos de los jóvenes libios y su revolución.

 

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بيان انتصار ثورة 17 فبراير المباركة
*     *   *   *     *
بسم الدماء الطاهرة الزكية لشهداء الثورة الليبية التي فجرها شبابنا البواسل سلمياً في جميع مدن وقرى وواحات ليبيا العزيزة وانضمت إليها مختلف فئات وشرائح المجتمع وأسقطت الدكتاتورية بكل أدواتها ولجانها.
وبالنظر لما قام به هذا النظام من إطلاق النار بكافة أنواع الأسلحة واستخدام العنف المفرط ضد المتظاهرين العزل المسالمين من أبناء الشعب الليبي واستخدام فرق الموت من المرتزقة الأجانب لقمع هذا الشعب، ونظراً للجرائم الوحشية والانتهاكات الصارخة لحقوق الإنسان وحرياته ولكافة الأعراف والمواثيق الوطنية والدولية، عليه نعلن:
1- بناء دولة ليبيا الموحدة الحرة المدنية كاملة السيادة.
2- وضع دستور يستمد شرعيته من إرادة الشعب وثورة 17 فبراير المظفرة ومستنداً على احترام حقوق الإنسان وضمان الحريات العامة والفصل بين السلطات واستقلال القضاء وبناء المؤسسات الوطنية على أسس تكفل المشاركة الواسعة والتعددية والتداول السلمي الديمقراطي للسلطة وحق التمثيل لكل فئات وشرائح الشعب الليبي.
3- التأكيد على وحدة الشعب الليبي والتراب الوطني وتماسك نسيجه الاجتماعي.
4- احترام كافة الاتفاقيات والمواثيق الدولية أسوة بأعضاء المجتمع الدولي.
5- حماية وصيانة أرواح وممتلكات كل المتواجدين على أرض ليبيا من مواطنين وأجانب.
 
 إن هذا الإعلان يعبر عن روح ثورة 17 فبراير الساعية لإعادة بناء الدولة الليبية على أسس الشرعية والقانون والمؤسسات المستلهمة من نضال الشعب الليبي البطل عبر تاريخه وما يقره بإرادته الحرة.
وفي الوقت ذاته نهيب بكافة الدول والهيئات والمنظمات الدولية والإقليمية ومنظمات حقوق الإنسان لأداء واجبها الإنساني لإيقاف المجزرة وجرائم الإبادة الجماعية التي ترتكبها فلول النظام المنهار ضد أبناء وبنات وأطفال شعبنا الباسل الأعزل في عاصمتنا طرابلس وباقي مدننا وقرانا.
  وإذ نعلن هذا البيان إعلاناً لانتصار ثورة 17 فبراير الشبابية وقطعاً للطريق على الانتهازيين والانقلابيين فإننا نتطلع إلى قرب تحرر عاصمتنا من ربقة الطغيان.
عاشت ثورة 17 فبراير الشبابية السلمية المباركة
عاشت ليبيا جمهورية حرة موحدة
ثوار 17 فبراير

 

ليبيا الحرة في: 22 فبراير 2011

 

RESUMENES EN FRANCES Y DESPÚES EN CASTELLANO

 


1 - construction d'un Etat libyen uni, libre, souverain
2 - Mise en place d'une constitution garantissant les libertés publiques et respectueuse des droits de l'homme, de la séparation des pouvoirs et de l'indépendance de la justice et l'instauration d'institutions nationales représentatives, participatives et pluralistes, reconnaissant l'alternance démocratique et pacifique du pouvoir et le droit à la représentation de toutes les composantes du peuple libyen.
3 - réaffirmation de l'unité du peuple libyen et de la cohésion de son tissu social
4 - respect de toutes les conventions internationales et chartes de la communauté internationale
5 Protection de tous les biens du peuple libyen et de toutes les personnes étrangères présentes sur le sol.
 
"Cette déclaration est le reflet de l'esprit qui anime la révolution du 17 février afin de procéder à la reconstruciton de l'Etat libyen sur la base du droit et de la légitimité (...). Nous en appelons à tous les Etats, insitutions internationales et régionales ainsi à qu'à toutes les institutions défendant les droits de l'homme de mettre fin à ce crime contre l'humanité que commet le pouvoir en place (...). Ce communiqué est celui de la victoire de la révolution du 17 février et  nous sommes en marche pour libérer notre capitale Tripoli"
 
"vive la révolution jeune et pacifique"
 
"Vive la libye unie et libre"

 

 

Declaración de Benghazi, 22 de febrero de 2011

 

 

 1. La construcción de un estado líbio unido, libre y soberano.

2. La aprobación de una constitución que garantiza las libertades públicas y que repeta los derechos humanos, la separación de poderes y la independencia de la justicia y la instauración de instituciones nacionales representativas, participativas y pluralistas, reconciendo la alternancia democrática y pacífica del poder y el derecho a la representación de todos los componentes del pueblo líbio.

3. La reafirmación de la unidad del pueblo libio y de la cohesión del su tejido social.

4. El respeto de todas las convenciones internacionales y cartas de la comunidad internacional.

5. La protección de todos los bienes del pueblo líbio y de todas las personas extranjeras presentes en suelo líbio.

 

"Esta declaración refleja el espiritú que anima la revolución del 17 de febrero con el objetivo de proceder a la reconstrucción del Estado Líbio sobre la base del derecho y de la legitimidad (....) Hacemos un llamamiento a todos los estados, instituciones internacionales y regionales, así como  a todas las instituciones que defienden los derechos humanos que pongan fin a este crimen contra la humanidad que esta cometiendo el actual régimen (....) Este comunicado es el de la victoria del 17 de febrero y ya estamos en marcha para liberar nuestra capital Tripoli. "

 

"¡Viva la revolución joven y pacífica!"

 

"¡Viva la líbia unida y libre!"

Published by Europa en Verde - dans Internacional
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13 février 2011 7 13 /02 /février /2011 11:30

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De repente, en las últimas semanas,  algunos políticos españoles y europeos se han convertido en fervientes fans de la democracia árabe sin haber hecho primero la más mínima autocrítica de su vergonzoso comportamiento político durante los últimos tiempos hacia los de derechos humanos en los países vecinos de mediterráneo.

"A veces por prudencia hemos sido benevolentes con los tiranos" ha declarado nuestra Ministra de Defensa. 

Tiene Carme Chacón el mérito expresarse con cierta honestidad ya que por los menos admite lo más evidente: el respaldo diplomático y militar español a mandatarios autoritarios árabes. Sin embargo, la formulación de Chacón esconde bastante manipulación de la verdad y a la vez intenta perdonarse por una actuación política impresentable, además de contraproducente.

¿Solo "a veces" con los gobiernos dictatoriales de Tunez y Egipto, por ejemplo? No es la verdad. Durante las últimos décadas los responsables políticos españoles, como la mayoría de los europeos,  han dado una prioridad constante a las buenas relaciones con los dictadores más sangrientos al mismo tiempo que han dado la espalda a los principales opositores democráticos.

La Ministra se excusa por haber apoyado a los tiranos con la necesidad de "prudencia."   Sin duda alguna, los motivos del apoyo a los regímenes de Marruecos, Argelia, Túnez,  Libia y Egipto poco o nada tienen que ver con "la prudencia" sino unos intereses económicos, energéticos y inmigratorios puros y duros.   ¿Pero, sigue siendo  prudente apoyar indefinidamente el aplastamiento de la voluntad popular de millones de personas del norte de África? ¿Se puede utilizar el deseo de "la estabilidad" para reforzar unas  políticas petrificadas, corruptas y terriblemente injustas?

Igual una reformulación más ajustada con la realidad de la frase de Chacón seria: "Siempre por intereses propios hemos sido complacientes con los tiranos"

En contraste con toda la retórica sobre los principios democráticos europeos, la lamentable realidad de la actuación práctica de la Unión Europea y de sus estados miembros ha sido muy útil para fortalecer la tiranías del Norte de África.  Sin ir más lejos, podemos recordar un artículo publicado en un diario de Cairo hace solo dos meses por el embajador de la Unión Europea en Egipto, Marc Franco. Alabó las reformas democráticas de Hosni Mubarak y concluyó que "considerando los últimos años, es justo afirmar que Egipto ha dado pasos valientes hacia la promoción de una cultura de derechos humanos en todas las facetas de la sociedad egipcia." 


Esperamos que las rebeliones de las últimas semanas provoquen una profunda reflexión en nuestros líderes  "prudentes" y "benevolentes"  para que den un giro democrático a un proyecto común  justo con nuestros vecinos más cercanos del Sur.

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11 février 2011 5 11 /02 /février /2011 15:25

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One of the often heard responses in Israel to the Egyptian popular
rebellion has been the consideration of the Muburak regime as a
necessary “lesser evil” to any form of democratic rule that would lead
inevitably to an unstable and dangerous radical Islamic alternative.
Obamaś support for “a democratic transition” and “free elections” in
Egypt is considered by many Israeli leaders and some right wing leaders
in the US as “throwing Egypt to the dogs.” Even some see “the fall
of Egypt” as creating a dire situation for Israel because “Israel can
only make peace with dictators” due to the endemic hate for Israel and
Jews among the Arab population.

These double-standard arguments that base “stability” on oppression are
at once incoherent, simplistic and, ultimately, dangerous
self-fulfilling prophecies  for the future and viability of Israel. Can
Israel"s security and certain supposed “western interests” justify
supporting the endless subjugation and hopelessness of tens of millions
of Egyptians and other Arab citizens? Can a combination of fear and
racist condescension justify saying “democracy is not for Arabs”? Can
Israel ever accept that it is a part of the Middle East and that it
cannot ignore the language, culture and public opinion of  neigbouring
arab countries?

It is true that the arduous and long task of creating democratic
institutions and a tolerant culture of political pluralism goes far
beyond the fall of a dictatorship and the organization of free
elections. This is especially true in a big country like Egypt where
tremendous poverty and illiteracy are very fertile ground for religious
extremism. But the greatest danger of extremism is precisely the lack of
hope for a better and freer society among millions of young people.

Nevertheless, many fallacies are being repeated. The Muslim Brotherhood,
while not a liberal party, is clearly not a copy of the Iranian
Ayatollahs or other fundamentalists. Many of them even say they want to
follow the example the moderate Turkish islamic leaders while others
insist that they will respect a pluralistic civil state and do not wish
to impose the Sharia or other radical measures. One must also keep in
mind the moderating influence of many smaller secular opposition groups
and the influence of the westerned trained Egyptian army that will
surely not favour the formation of a radical government that breaks with
the West. In fact, in the daily protests when some islamists shouted the
slogan “Islam is the answer”, the majority of the crowd drowned them out
with chants of “Moslems and Christians together for Egypt”. While most
Egyptians are deeply religious the present wave of protests across the
arab world has very little to do with an “Islamic revolution.”

Israel"s strategic position over the last 30 years has been based on a
close security relationship with Egypt. Needless to say, the changes
taking place in Egypt, will have a profound effect on the future
security and political possibilities of Israel. Since any future
Egyptian Government will be much more sensitive to the the pressure of
public opinion, there will obviously be more problems for close
Israeli-Egyptian security cooperation with regards to Gaza, the
Palestinians in general and the Sinai peninsula.

Even a slow transition toward democracy will create much greater
pressure in favour of a political solution to the Palestinian problem
and make the present Israeli entrenchment untenable.

While peace between Egypt and Israel will surely not be in danger,
there will be more turbulences in the up until now smooth workings of the
1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement. From now on Israel will not be able
to almost ignore its southern security flank. Also placed in jeopardy is
the blockade of Gaza that requires Egyptian cooperation. Any
democratically elected Egyptian Government will have a hard time
accepting the present policy of intimate military cooperation
based on the status quo of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.

A new regional order possibly is in the making in which Israel cannot
continue acting as if what is happening on the other side of the walls
and fences does not concern them. Israel and the Zionist movement has
always had a clear preference for the top-down approach of palace
politics or super-power protection.

As political thinker Hannah Arendt wrote in 1944: “Nationalism is bad
enough when it trusts in nothing but the rude force of the nation. A
nationalism that necessarily and admittedly depends upon the force of a
foreign power is certainly worse . . . the Zionists, if they continue to
ignore the Mediterranean peoples and watch out only for the big faraway
powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and
hostile interests.”


Now, in the context of historic changes in the Arab world it is
essential for Israel to heed the writing on the wall, to open up to a
broader concept of politics, to quickly accept the challenge of a just
peace with the Palestinians by withdrawing from the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, to end the blockade of Gaza and to allow Palestinians to
breathe, to accept international security arrangements on the ground, to
look at the big picture of the Mid-East and to start ignoring the
smaller pictures of extremist settler groups and other narrow minded
nationalists.


The events in Egypt are a serious wake up call for Israel. The Tel Aviv
“bubble” has burst.

David Hammerstein

Published by Europa en Verde - dans Internacional
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9 octobre 2010 6 09 /10 /octobre /2010 06:49



       Los casi veinte millones de votos cosechados por Marina Silva  son un hito para el movimiento verde global.  Demuestra que la ecologia política no es "un lujo" para las sociedades opulentas del Norte y que se puede combinar con éxito un discurso social coherente de ecologia y de economía en un país con grandes bolsas de pobreza y analfebetismo.  Contradice las voces que consideran el movimiento verde como "una expresión post-materialista"  solo apta para los tiempos de bonanza económica.


    La campaña de Marina Silva fue especialmente transversal ya que conseguía votos de muy distintas procedencias, desde los jóvenes desencantados con la polarización izquierda-derecha de los dos grandes partidos, los votantes de izquierdas defraudados por las promesas incumplidas de los gobiernos de Lula,  del movimiento ecologista que rechaza la terrible política productivista de destrucción de las amazonas,  de las clases medias cultas que huyen de la retórica ideológica - sea populista o conservadora,  de comunidades cristianas de base que respetan la profunda devoción religiosa de Marina Silva, de sectores empresariales que apoyan las llamadas a favor de un fuerte mercado de "economía verde", de luchadores sindicales de las amazonas que siguen el ejemplo del martir Chico Mendés... y muchos más.

   Marina Silva ha sido atacada durante la campaña desde la izquierda como "eco-capitalista" y por tener como candidato a la vice-presidencia a un empresario de la industria cosmética (lider de WWF).  Le acusaban de hacer el juego a la derecha, de dividir la izquierda, de buscar la venganza personal por su marginación dentro del Gobierno de Lula.


No hay que olvidar que la actual candidata a la presidencia del Partido de los Trabajadores Dilma Roussef es una enemiga acerrima de cualquier política ambiental y en su cargo de jefa del gabinete de Lula se dedicaba a boicotear todas las propuestas ambientalistas y en defensa de las amazonas de la entonces ministra de Medio Ambiente Marina Silva.


  Ahora el Partido Verde debe decidir si pedirá el voto para otr@ candidat@ en la segunda ronda de las elecciones. Una decisión difícil.

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10 février 2010 3 10 /02 /février /2010 23:01

Los límites ecológicos son condiciones para la paz 
en el Oriente Próximo
 
Resumen de la comunicación presentada ante el Foro Palestino-Israelí por la Paz, celebrado en Florencia el 8 y 9 de febrero de 2010

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Unos recursos naturales finitos y especialmente frágiles entre el río Jordán y el mar Mediterráneo constituyen un factor importante que condiciona y caracteriza cualquier posibilidad de llegar a un futuro acuerdo de paz entre palestinos e israelíes. Al mismo tiempo las dos partes en conflicto están condenadas a una cooperación en la gestión sustentable de unos bienes ambientales comunes en una muy estrecha franja de terreno, densamente poblada y ecologicamente estresada. 
 
La actual situación entre israelíes y palestinos puede describirse como de gran injusticia ambiental por el desigual acceso al sustento natural lo que exige unos cambios radicales en la gestión de los recursos ambientales escasos, especialmente el agua, debido a la intensa presión ecológica que sufre a consecuencia de la sobredemanda y lasobre-explotación. Para poder facilitar un equitativo y viable marco biofísico para un acuerdo de paz, es necesario un reparto mucho más justo y equilibrado que favorezca a la población palestina. El Estado de Israel deberá transformar elementos importantes de su actividad económica y agrícola para obtener unas significativas reducciones de sus demandas sobre el capital natural común. Al mismo tiempo los palestinos deben también también por evitar la trampa de repetir los viejos modelos "sucios" del desarrollo, y para ello deberán orientar su incipiente Estado hacía nuevos modelos económicos mucho más limpios y con menos huellas destructivas sobre un entorno natural tan delicado.
 

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En el conflicto palestino-israeli la igualdad social y la ecología no son separables, constituyen dos caras de la misma moneda. No se puede aliviar la endémica pobreza de la ciudadanía palestina sin, al mismo tiempo, moderar el sobreconsumo israeli que está intensificando el conflicto sobre unos recursos naturales escasos. Si Israel no se mueve hacía unas pautas de consumo de baja demanda ambiental, que es un requisito para una relación más equitativa y justa con los palestinos, la lucha sobre el acceso al suelo, agua y energía puede recrudecerse.  La eficiencia tecnológica puede y debe ayudar pero no es una panacea ante el sobreconsumo; más que unos milagrosos avances técnicos lo que la región necesita son unas recetas globales de suficiencia y unos nuevos derechos ambientales de los palestinos hacia su entorno natural.
 

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La creación de unos dignos y suficientes sustentos de vida para la ciudadanía palestina no será posible sin un nuevo marco ambiental negociado por las partes y arbitrado por la comunidad internacional, principalmente por la Unión Europea. También  las ayudas europeas deben ser coherentes con su propia política ambiental y velar políticamente por nuevo acceso y reparto equitativo a los bienes naturales comunes. Dada las muy desiguales relaciones de fuerza entre palestinos e israelies no podemos depender solamente de los acuerdos bilaterales para afrontar la actual situación de injusticia ambiental. La enérgica implicación externa es necesaria para mediar y prevenir una creciente crisis socio-ecológica que podría abortar cualquier iniciativa de paz. Tampoco debemos olvidar que la pobreza ambiental de los palestinos no emana principalmente de una falta de ingresos económicos sino de una falta de poder político. 
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8 février 2010 1 08 /02 /février /2010 11:57

    Environmental limits to peace conditions human security (ABSTRACT),
      at Palestinian-Israeli Peace Forum in Florence, Italy, 8th-9th of February, 2010

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The finite nature of natural resources are a crucial limiting factor when considering a possible future peace agreement.

  The present situation of blatant environmental injustice between Palestinians and Israelis demands radical changes in the management of scarce resources, especially water, in light of the already overburdened carrying capacity of fragile ecosystems. To facilitate the bio-physical framework for peace Israel needs to transform important elements of its economic and agricultural activity toward a significant reduction of demands on natural capital while Palestinians must be able to avoid copying old "dirty" models of development and to "leap-frog" into new models of ecological modernity.

  Ecology and equity in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict are closely linked. Palestinian poverty cannot by alleviating without alleviating  at the same time certain forms of Israeli over-consumption that are intensifying conflicts over resources.  Unless Israelis move toward a more "resource-lite life-style" that allows more equitable sharing with Palestinians the fight over water, land and energy will intensify. Technological efficiency is important but is not a panacea; more than efficiency we need clear forms of sufficiency through a fair access to resources.  The creation of dignified livelihoods for Palestinians, poverty reduction and environmental protection are inextricably linked. Without a holistic consideration of the Mid-East social-environmental crisis, general ecological disruption could abort any progress toward peace.

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Any consideration of these contradictions need firm international arbitration and support, principally from the European Union. Given the great equality and power gap between Israelis and Palestinians bilateral environmental agreements alone will not suffice to move toward environmental justice.  We must remember that Palestinian environmental poverty is not due to the lack of income but to the lack of power.


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11 septembre 2009 5 11 /09 /septembre /2009 13:13
Opening remarks by David Hammerstein at Middle East workshop on CFSP review conference organised by SWP Foundation, Berlin     10-09-09
Ending the "blank cheque" in EU policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Costs and incentives in EU policy to end the "occupation business", growing Palestinian dependency and the case for political efficacy in financial aide to the Palestinian Authority and Israel.  Setting deadlines and phasing out EU aid as an expression of political pressure and budgetary coherence. 
The European Union's top foreign policy representative Javier Solana has recently called for the United Nations Security Council to recognise a Palestinian State and the two-state solution by a certain deadline even if Israel and others do not.  Many voices believe this initiative should be considered for support by the international community. Is this feasible? In any case, Solana´s proposal reflects a growing frustration over the meagre efficacy of present EU policy toward the conflict and the growing loss of hope in a viable two-state solution. 
New policy strategies are needed to forward a stable peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  
Should the EU and EU member states reconsider its present form of aide to the PA if there is no signficant  political progress on the ground and at the negotiating table? How can this aid create incentives and costs for moving toward a final peace agreement? Is the EU perpetuating the status quo and the dependency on the "occupation business" on both sides? Should Israel pay back for all or part of EU aide to the Palestinians? Should EU financial aide, aside from humanitarian, continue indefinitely despite the lack of political progress? In the case of no significant progress toward a final settlement should we not consider a phasing out of "state building" and structural aide to the Palestinian Authority? 
 The EU will provide 440 million euros to the PA in 2009. In 2008 the US gave 150 million to the PA and another 264 million in direct economic support and security) direct assistance to the PA. This does not include humanitarian aid. For example, the EU contributed 66 million euros de UNRWA in 2008 and the US over 150 million. 
Obviously this aid is not very effective in the present context. A political horizon is needed. Without a credible and unlimited freeze on settlement expansion in Jerusalem and the West Bank and without  a stable and legally viable agreement for Palestinian Unity, among other measures on the ground,  we must face the reality that the EU can not play the role of disguising an unsustainable situation.  
The basic elements of a possible peace agreement are known to all. At present Israel and Hamas reject these basic elements (concerning the international security guarantees,  borders, land swap, Jerusalem, refugees and water) while the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and the EU and probably President Obama accept them. At present the PA on the West  Bank is fulfulling the majority of the conditions of the Road Map while Israel, especially concerning sercurity, while Israel does not comply with most of the conditions, most notoriously concerning settlements. Should there not be costs and incentives in response to these positions and realities on the ground?

  

1.Liability, insurance and accountability
   If your house catches on fire the local or regional fire-brigade will come and put out the fire.  In most European countries either the insurance company or the home owner will have to pay for the cost of extinguishing the fire.  What happens if your house has another devastating fire six months later and yet two more bad fires the next year ? The consequences would be costly because the insurance company would raise its rates significantly and maybe even refuse to continue the coverage. Second of all, there would probably be an investigation on the part of the police and the fire department concerning the causes of such frequent fires and the lack of effective fire prevention or reduction measures on the part of the home owners. In Europe there is no such thing as no cost, no risk and no fault insurance in cases of repetitive liability over a number of years.  This only happens in the Middle East.
   Israel is a fairly wealthy developed industrialised country with a strong currency and growing economy.  Nevertheless, Israel´s financial accountability for the Palestinian territories it occupies is very small and despite being a wealthy country it receives massive International aid, in particular for the Palestinian territories under its control since 1967.  Contrary to its international legal obligations Israel does not supply most of the basic services to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza. This is because the majority of these services and humanitarian aide are provided by the European Union and its member states.  This EU aide has no strings attached, no conditions, no economic cost and no liability for Israel. There is also no end is sight for this aide due to the stalemate in the conflict.  Theoretically, EU aide to Palestinians is for "economic stimulation", "institution building", "policing", "humanitarian relief" and "conflict prevention", all within the general political objective of forwarding a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Most in the EU would consider this aid a good down payment for peace if a final agreement was finally reached. But what if the present aide is only softening a bit the occupation and there is no political perspective on the horizon? In reality, there is no direct link between European aid to the PA, the EU´s economic relationship with Israel and the concrete issues on the ground that block both peace and a significant improvement in the lives of Palestinians: settlements, the siege of Gaza and lack of movement of people and goods in general.  
 Are we paying Israel´s "free lunch" indefinitely with no political dividend in sight. Are we even strengthenng the perpetuation of the status quo?  Why should Israel risk exchanging today´s "best of all possible worlds"  (a properous society on this side of the wall with the other side cared for by others) for the risky business of withdrawals, internal conflicts and  volatile joint ventures with a faction of the Palestinians? 
The EU greatest allotment of aide per capita in the world is for the Palestinian Authority.  Teachers, nurses, civil servants, police and others all receive their monthly salaries from the EU. As well, tens of thousands of Palestinians depend on EU humanitarian aid.  Nevertheless, we should evaluate if this policy is a positive one that contributes to the building of institutions for peace or if it simply is a massive subsidy of the Israeli occupation that eliminates Israel´s legal responsibility of providing services to the occupied population. In other words, are we helping to make the occupation economically bearable and not costly for Israel, basically letting the occupier off the hook.  
Another question is if decades of massive "occupation business" made possible mainly by the EU is actually creating vested interests and dependency on both sides, both economical and political, for the indefinite continuation of the occupation. Where is the incentive for reaching a two-state solution? What would happen if the EU set a deadline to cut off all but humanitarian aid unless Israel took a number of measures to make life more bearable for Palestinians with regard to the siege of Gaza, movement and settlements.  Israel would dread the threat of withdrawal of aid and the possible collapse of Palestinian  institutions that could lead to chaotic situation. It is evident that the present status quo cannot continue. Since the EU pays it must play as well. 
An option for EU countries as well would be to consider the hundreds of millions of euros spent in the territories as a debt being accumulated by Israel if no peace agreement is reached. The accumulated debt should be published periodically, possibly to be recovered through a tax levied on Israeli goods or discounted from  participation in EU programmes. If we do not have accountability, at least we should have financial accounting and transparency as far as legal obligations. Until a Palestinian State is declared Israel must respond to the debt. With no economic incentive for peace, with no penalisation for obstruction, European policy is little more the that of an large NGO. 
   The present discussion on a  false and contradictory "settlement freeze" is symptomatic of the piecemeal approach of so-called "confidence building measures" that have permeating the conflict over the last ten years..  It borders on absurdity the fact that it could be considered a concession on the part of Israel to slow down just a bit the settlement process for a few months in the West Bank excluding Jerusalem while quickly building hundreds of new homes and legalising hundreds of others, maintaining the same pace of illegal colonisation as in past years.   There is a basic chasm between the International Community and Israel on the nature of the West Bank and Jerusalem . While the world considers them occupied territories, Israel acts  at best as if they were "disputed" lands and in the case of "Greater Jerusalem" or the " Jerusalem envelope" as if they were just another part of the State of Israel.  
  If Obama excludes Jerusalem from a settlement agreement with Israel he is making a tragic mistake. It could even be considered a step away from the Clinton Parameters on Jerusalem.  First of all it should be noted that when we speak of Jerusalem we are speaking of a municipal boundary that has grown four-fold under Israeli rule and that now even encompasses Palestinian towns and a number of settlements over 10 kilometers away from the Old City. No agreement to even the most moderate Arab leadership can be acceptable without Jerusalem.  It makes no sense to negotiate a "settlement freeze" without Jerusalem. 
  Obama intends to be ambiguous on the scope of the "settlement freeze" in order to give the impression of "back to the talks", but in reality we are back to the stationary bicycle - lots of sweat but no distance covered.  This present false "piece process" can only at best produce a few photo opportunities of Arab-Israeli handshakes but no real "peace process" that already has a bottom-line minimum of conditions as described in Taba or in the Geneva Initiative.  Dialogue for the sake of dialogue can produce more frustration and descrediting of leaders than any concrete progress. 
  The time has come for setting dates, demanding liability and ending financial dependency of Palestinians. 

  

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31 juillet 2009 5 31 /07 /juillet /2009 07:32
    

  
Una de las virtudes del trabajo parlamentario del Grupo Verde en el Parlamento Europeo es su defensa incondicional de los derechos humanos en el mundo, sin hipotecas ideológicas de ningún tipo. Hemos sido igual de implacables frente a Bush con Guantánamo que con los presos políticos de Fidel Castro en Cuba, contra la opresión de la ocupación en Palestina, o contra la represión de libertades en China, ya sea en Chechenya como en Guatemala, en Peru, en Irán o  en Zimbabwe.


Consideramos que la política de la Unión Europea debe priorizar la defensa del los derechos de las personas por encima de intereses comerciales o de ventajas estratégicas sobre el control de recursos energéticos o mineros. Sin embargo, la Unión Eurpea se inhibe con el país totalitario más grande. Los líderes europeos fracasan estrepitosamente cuando se trata de China, un gigante económico y también un colosal violador de los derechos fundamentales de las personas. Ni siquiera conseguimos que hubiera un boicot simbólico a la ceremonia de apertura de las Olimpiadas del pasado verano del 2008. Para la mayoría de europarlamentari@s, resulta más fácil y menos comprometido el protestar ante países pequeños, como es Zimbabwe o Cuba, que enfrentarse a una superpotencia económica.

 

 

Con los países árabes sucede algo similar, debido a que están en juego los grandes yacimientos de petróleo y el gas  en el Golfo y en el Norte de África, y también incide la política europea del "mal menor" al apoyar a régimenes autoritarios y dictatoriales árabes por el miedo de unas alternativas que consideran peores. La Unión Europea tampoco presiona más a favor de los derechos humanos en los países árabes por miedo al islamismo radical, y a menudo se razona macabramente que es mejor un estado autoritario que el riesgo de un gobierno que pudiera favorecer el terrorismo islámico. El resultado paradójico de todo ello, es una política europea contradictoria y cínica, con un doble rasero de medir que acaba desacreditando a los países europeos y afianzando en razones a los mismos fundamentalistas que se quiere combatir. Una cosa son las grandes proclamas y otra es la realidad del realpolitik europea y de los gobiernos estatales. China es un caso ejemplar, donde se expresan estas contradicciones en toda su intensidad. 

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26 juillet 2009 7 26 /07 /juillet /2009 16:18



Ideas posed by the UN Conference on Palestine Geneva 22-24 of July




  There is a growing consensus that "business as usual" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is coming to an end and that Israel´s "free lunch"  might soon have a price on it. 


 There are a number of new elements. Strengthened by a stronger US position, the Palestinian Authority seems determined not to renew negotiations unless there is a real freeze on settlement building.  The EU´s High Representative Javier Solana has suggested that the UN Security Council set a mandatory deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian State, whether there is a negotiated settlement or not, placing on the table the ultimate threat to impose a solution to the conflict with International forcese. The Quartet is pressuring heavily on Israel to ease the blockade and accept the entrance of construction material (11.5 million euros) for the completion of public works projects in Gaza that have been pending for years and there is growing pressure to start reconstruction work in Gaza as well.


   The  loud and frequent calls for war crimes trials against Isrrael will probably not go anywhere but for the first time the UN is pressing Israel seriously to pay reparations for the UN property and material destroyed during the Cast Lead operation. The EU is not vocal on this issue.  At the same time there seems to be growing criciticism among European Commission Officials that the present massive expenditure paid by taxpayers for maintaining Palestinian life under the occupation cannot continue indefinitely and without any costs for Israel.  The present status quo is not  successful "state building", with no final agreement in sight,  and it is not creating political progress on the ground. Instead, dependency on EU aide is creating a vast "occupation business" with vested lucrative interests while Israel pays little or nothing for the endless occupation. It was suggested in my presentation that the EU and the International Community should condition this form of indirect  aide to Israel (who should legally pay as the occupier) to concrete improvement in the situation on the ground, lifting the seige in Gaza and  the opening up a political perspective for peace. Obviously this threat of withdrawal o change in EU aide does not mean harming the well-being of the Palestinian civilian population nor cutting humanitarian aide but it does mean making Israel understand that the present situation is unsustainable both economically and politically.


   At the conference, there was an interesting presentation by Israeli and Palestinian journalists that showed the monolithic self-censorship of the Israeli press that covered up everything that went on in Gaza during the war and became uncritical spokesmen of the IDF.  They also spoke of the dehumanization and the invisibility of the Palestinians  in Israeli press and society. 


   The Palestinian Ambassador closed the conference  outlining  the concrete initiatives to start the reconstruction of Gaza, with or without an agreement with Hamas,  the procedures for seeking reparation for the Gaza operation and many diplomatic fronts to accelerate the process ot the creation of a Palestinian state. He was very clear that the ANP would not go back to an endless peace process while settlement building continues and the seige of Gaza was in place. 


 

   Everyone seems to be waiting the effect of US pressure on Isreal.  
Here is a summary of my intervention in the conference:

 

 THE ISRAELI - PALESTINIAN 
CONFLICT IN THE WAKE OF THE GAZA OPERATION 

 

How to break the status quo through international accountability, public pressure and the application of International Law.

 

THE GAZA CAST LEAD OPERATION:

 It should be noted that the operation against the civilian population continues.  The present humanitarian siege is an illegal form a warfare that denies fundamental rights to civilians.  I will not go into great detail because the impact of the Cast Lead operation and the violation of International Humanitarian Law is well documented in the Amnesty International report recently published and I coincide with its recommendations and demands toward Israel, Hamas and the International Community that include an arms embargo, reparations, a criminal investigation and international protection of civilians. 

 

WHAT WE SAW ON THE 10TH OF JANUARY IN GAZA:

We saw a helpless population totally dependent on international organisations, mainly UNRWA, for all basic necessities.  We saw the destruction of all public buildings that often affected the homes adjacent to them. There was no electricity nor potable running water. There was no rubbish collection No cars were in the street. There were no signs of armed people. We only saw military aircraft and other  aerial Israeli equipment. The bombing continued a few hundred metres from where we were. We picked up off the ground the leaflets launched by the Israelis warning the population of heavy bombing and to seek safe refuge.  Mothers with babies in their arms pulled on our arms asking for help to stop the bombing. We were the only European representatives to visit Gaza during the Cast Lead operation.  It is important to point out that the prohibition of the presence of international press and witnesses was one of the keys of impunity during this conflict that resulted in so many deaths of innocent civilians. 

 

POSITION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The European Parliament has repeatedly supported the following positions over the last 5 years in different resolutions adopted by a wide majority:

 

-Lifting of the siege of Gaza and the end of collective punishment of the civilian population.

 

- The end to the use of disproportionate force, illegal weapons or indiscriminate victimisation of the civilian population on the part of Israel.

 

- The end to the firing of rockets by Palestinians from Gaza on the civilian population of Southern Israel.

 

- In favour of a unity agreement of Hamas and Fatah as a necessary step for international peacemaking measures in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

- A total suspension of the settlement building.

 

- The free movement of people and goods both in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

-  The conditioning of future EU policy to concrete progress on the ground.

 

- The investigation of possible war crimes committed by Israel and by Hamas in the Gaza conflict.

 

- The deployment of international forces in and around Gaza.

 

- The building of a large solar plant for electricity and desalinisation in or near Gaza for energy and water autonomy.

 

- Against the upgrading of relations with Israel under the present circumstances.

 

Note:  The Parliament has no foreign policy co-decision but can influence policy through its opinions and through the control of budgetary control.


 
 

What needs to be done:

 

UPHOLDING INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW NEEDS GREATER INTERNATIONAL SUPERVISION AND INVOLVEMENT

BREAK THE POLITICAL DEADLOCK: SET A DEADLINE BY UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE "TWO STATE SOLUTION" WITH THE ACCEPTANCE OF PALESTINE IN THE UN

 

The European Union's top foreign policy representative Javier Solana has recently called for the United Nations Security Council to recognise a Palestinian State and the two-state solution by a certain deadline even if Israel and others do not.  This initiative should be considered for support by the international community.

 

We find ourselves in a dangerous stalemate and only the short-term interests of the Israeli Government and the most radical elements on both sides, not the long-term well-being of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, are benefited by the perpetuation of status quo. The Palestinian Authority leadership currently refuses to enter negotiations with Israel until it stops construction of illegal West Bank settlements, recognises past agreements, and agrees to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State. At the same time the uncompromising positions of Netanyahu on settlements, Jerusalem and Gaza are far from being a basis for any fruitful negotiations with any Palestinian counterparts. The Arab League Plan for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East is being ignored while the lack of Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas is a serious barrier to a serious political peace process.  After more that forty years of occupation the international community should take the initiative. 

 

After a fixed deadline, a UN Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two-state solution and the declaration should include the borders of the Palestinian State, the fate of Palestinian refugees, control over Jerusalem and security arrangements and international guarantees. 

It would accept the Palestinian State as a full member of the UN, and set a calendar for implementation. It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimise the end of claims," 

 

The UN Security Council should mandate a return to Israel's borders before the 1967 war in which it occupied the West Bank and Gaza, except for agreed upon land swaps and mediators should set a timetable for a final peace agreement. If the parties are not able to stick to it (the timetable), then a solution backed by the international community should be put on the table. It is a time of action not a time for words but for deeds.  This conference should support Solana´s proposal that is basically in line with the proposals of the Arab Peace Initiative and other similiar proposals. 

 

EU Political Policy on the Mid-East does not really exist; it usually echoes US policy or plays the role of a "Sherpa" for Obama´s new policies

 

   It should be noted that Foreign Policy is competence of the Council of Ministers that must act with unanimity and the reality is that a number of countries have very different views on the Middle East. Italy and some Eastern European countries hold very uncritical positions toward present Israeli policy. 

 

IS THE EU  FINANCING THE "OCCUPATION BUSINESS" THROUGH ITS FINANCIAL AIDE? IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE? If tHe EU pays it should also play. 


The EU greatest allotment of aide per capita is for the Palestinian authority. If this is added to money donated by member states the amount is staggering.  Teachers, nurses, civil servants, police and others all receive their monthly salaries from the EU. As well, tens of thousands of Palestinians depend on EU humanitarian aide.  Nevertheless, we should evaluate if this policy is a positive one that contributes to the building of institutions for peace or if it simply is a massive subsidy of the Israeli occupation that eliminates Israel´s legal responsibility of providing services to the occupied population. In other words, are we helping to make the occupation economically bearable and not costly for Israel, basically letting the occupier off the hook.  Another question is if decades of massive "occupation business" made possible mainly by the EU is actually creating vested interests and dependency on both sides, both economical and political, for the indefinite continuation of the occupation. Where is the incentive for reaching a two-state solution? What would happen if the EU decided to cut off all but humanitarian aide unless Israel took a number of measures to  make life more bearable for Palestinians with regard to the siege of Gaza, movement and settlements.  Israel would dread the threat of withdrawal of aide and the possible collapse of institutions. It is evident that the present status quo cannot continue. Since the EU pays it must play as well. 

 

A MORE POLITICAL EU POLICY ON MID-EAST PEACE?
 

    The EU should condition the continuation of its substantial economic aide to substantial improvement of conditions on the ground for Palestinian life in the occupied territories and concrete benchmarks with consequences for Israel concerning settlements, freedom of movement and changes in the status quo in Jerusalem.   The issues of rights for the Palestinian minority in Israel, the rule of law under the PA and Hamas,  freedom and equality of religion and non-discrimination in land laws, demolitions and building should shape economic relations and the participation in EU programmes.

 

  The EU is not a humanitarian NGO. It cannot continue to be a big payer but a very small player.  The lack of clear and effective EU policy reflects the absence of ambition and the great weakness of the present procedures of decision making in EU institutions.  To a great extent the outcome of the present conflict of the Obama Administration with the Israeli Government over settlement building and especially Jerusalem will express the possibilities of success of both US  and EU policy. 

 

  Only strong political and public pressure can bring EU leaders and member states to act more forcefully and in accordance with International law.

The alternative is to face the relentless pedagogy of catastrophe.  

 

  It is not a question of being pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli.  It is in the interest of all to take steps toward the negotiated end of the conflict and to place strong international guarantees against violence and suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis. 

 

 

 
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