Participants at an event organised by the EuroPal Forum in London have called for Europe to have a serious role in international efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. The programme was called ‚ÄúTrump‚Äôs Jerusalem Promise: Time for Europe to Lead for Peace in the Middle East‚ÄĚ and was chaired by the Director of Middle East Monitor, Dr Daud Abdullah.
Panellists included barrister Toby Cadman, an international law specialist, and Baroness Jenny Tonge. The Labour Party‚Äôs Julie Ward MEP also took part. ‚ÄúThe EU must take practical measures allowing it to contribute to resolving the Palestinian conflict by reviving the peace process based on the two-state solution,‚ÄĚ the European parliamentarian stressed.‚ÄĚ Europe still considers that to be the ideal formula for the solution.‚ÄĚ
Palestinian academic Dr Ghada Karmi suggested that if the Europeans want to, they can play America‚Äôs role in the Middle East. ‚ÄúThey are more acceptable to the Palestinians than the American mediators, whom the Palestinian officials and people insist are not impartial but are supporters of the [Israeli] occupation.‚ÄĚ
This point was emphasised by Professor Kamel Hawwash, Vice Chair of the British Palestinian Policy Council (BPPC). He emphasised America‚Äôs clear bias in favour of Israel, which makes Washington unfavourable for the Palestinians in the future. Hawwash praised the EU‚Äôs position in rejecting Trump‚Äôs announcement regarding Jerusalem. ‚ÄúThis is an important European position that must be built upon,‚ÄĚ he added. ‚ÄúHowever, things will not necessarily go the way that the Palestinians want because they are the weakest link in the equation.‚ÄĚ
According to EuroPal chairman Zaher Birawi, the Palestinians must think outside of the fruitless negotiation box that has achieved nothing for them. ‚ÄúThey must prepare to deal with Israel as an occupying state, which international law gives them the right to resist in order to restore their national rights.‚ÄĚ This option, he insisted, will make negotiations important and give the Palestinian leadership true value by forcing the [Israeli occupation authorities] to respect their position.
The forum was attended by many political activists and journalists concerned with the Palestinian cause.