Engage Or Disengage With Israel?

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad urged the European Union not to upgrade relations with Israel because of lack of progress in Middle Eastern talks. There are rumors the European Union is discussing upgrading its relations with Israel which concerns Fayyad who says to do so is rewarding Israel for obstructing the process of peace. He pointed out the humanitarian crisis that exists in Gaza and failure on the part of the Israel government to West Bank settlers. “The message you will be sending to the Israel electorate is that the EU will upgrade its relations regardless of Israel’s behavior.”

The prime minister makes solid points concerning mistakes being made by Israel on the West Bank and it approach to dealing with Gaza. However, nothing is gained by keeping Israel at arm’s length. The greater is Israel’s involvement with the EU the greater it will become committed to work for peace. Get them into the tent of peace, don’t let them cluster outside becoming angry.