At the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, defined Israel's security concerns as the motivating factor behind supporting the two-state paradigm, even as the US has been repeating that it does not envisage any resolution in the immediate future. With the Abraham Accords being the main driving force behind US-Israeli decisions, Lapid's nod towards the failed international consensus holds no substance for the Palestinian people. In practice, Lapid's words are no different from refuting the paradigm – the Israeli government's colonial settlement expansion has determined the pace.
However, the EU's Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, claimed encouragement at Lapid's words. "This is also what we want to push for. We want the resumption of a political process that can lead to a two-state solution and a comprehensive regional peace," Borrell stated at the EU-Israeli Association Council meeting on Monday.
The EU's position statement regarding the meeting, however, indicates full agreement with the Abraham Accords, which are mentioned prior to the bloc's adherence to the two-state compromise. Referencing the normalisation agreements, the EU's statement partly reads, "In this regard, the EU will seek to encourage and build upon the recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and a number of Arab countries, with a view to enhancing the prospects to reach a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East Peace Process." Giving prominence to the Abraham Accords in this way suggests that the EU was not as averse to the Trump administration's politics as it sought to portray. Only US President Joe Biden made it easier for the EU to retain its two-state diplomacy, while overtly agreeing to policies which were previously ridiculed only because the US had Donald Trump as President.
Since the US is actively engaging with Arab countries through the normalisation framework and trying to get the Palestinian Authority on board as well, the Abraham Accords have gained more recognition in international circles. The EU, however, is clearly stating that it will be using the agreements to "enhance" the possibility of a resolution, knowing full well that the agreements only serve to solidify Israel's diplomatic ties and, in return, bolster its impunity.
In his virtual address to the meeting yesterday, Lapid's commitment to the two-state paradigm included an assertion that Jerusalem would remain Israel's undivided capital, which goes against international resolutions. However, Lapid's best card was the Israeli government's economic concessions to the PA, spoken of without the context of Israel knowing it is facing a gradually changing Palestinian society which will not wait upon its leadership to determine the way forward to legitimate resistance against colonialism.
The EU's press release describing the meeting states the intent to "build upon the momentum generated at the UN General Assembly" in terms of the so-called peace process. Yet, Palestinians know that the veneer of concern was nothing more than a bid to deflect criticism from the fact that the EU chose, yet again, to engage with a colonial entity which specialises in breaking international law and committing war crimes. With the Abraham Accords subtly taking centre stage, and with full agreement on behalf of the EU, it should at least be made clear that no independence and no Palestinian State can be reached, unless a radical change in politics is implemented.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.