Today’s the day the EU discuss East Jerusalem and as expected Israel is arm twisting and already having some success in lessening the critical language in the document. But I have to say, fair play to England for supporting the the first document:
link Senior Israeli officials said several sections of the document relating to other aspects of the peace process, and which Israel also deemed problematic, have already been softened.And again, as expected the US Israeli lapdogs are doing what they are told. How embarrassing for Americans, the sad fact that the rest of the world can see first hand the extent of Israeli control within America. How sad that the great United States of America cannot ever make a statement against Israel's actions, no matter how bad they are. Decent Americans must be so ashamed:
link US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, sent a letter to foreign ministers of the European Union calling on them to reject a proposition to recognize east Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state.So this is where we were yesterday:
link But a fierce debate is still raging on the Jerusalem question, with Britain backing Sweden's proposal and Germany, Italy and France opposing it.And here are the latest reports from today, again no decision has been taken yet, that will happen later today, but here is how things stand today so far:
The Swedish draft states bluntly that East Jerusalem will be "the capital of Palestine." An alternative being pushed by France would instead declare Jerusalem the future capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state. That wording also fails to satisfy Israel, but is nevertheless deemed a significant improvement over the Swedish version.
As of yesterday, according to both Israeli officials and European diplomats, both sides were refusing to compromise. Luxembourg's Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, for instance, said yesterday that all European countries view East Jerusalem as occupied territory, and "if it's occupied - then it doesn't belong to Israel." Therefore, he argued, the European Union should adopt Sweden's proposal.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini countered that it would be a mistake for the EU to try to decide Jerusalem's fate unilaterally. This, he said, is an issue Israel and the Palestinians must resolve through negotiations.
But Reuters reported last night that the ministers have agreed to consider a new draft today with significantly softer language. This draft merely asserts that in order to achieve real peace, a way must be found to make Jerusalem the capital of two states.
One issue on which Israel did manage to get the Swedish draft changed is the settlement freeze. The original proposal merely "noted" Israel's announcement of a 10-month construction freeze. But due to pressure from several EU countries, the proposal now "welcomes" this development.
LINK 'Viable state'
Israel captured the area in the 1967 Six Day War, immediately annexed it and claims all of the city as its eternal capital. But the annexation has not been internationally recognised.
first draft of a statement drawn up by the Sweden ahead of an EU leaders summit later this week spoke in favour of "a viable state of Palestine comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital."
But a later version of the draft text is believed to drop the explicit reference to east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
"A way must be found, through negotiations, to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states," a revised text, seen by the AFP news agency, said.
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, said: "It [the later draft] was watered down in a way that is apparently, for the time being, not acceptable for the Palestinians.
"Originally the draft will have said that East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state, that is a clear formulation that says on the 1967 borders East Jerusalem would be the capital of the Palestinian state.
"Now apparently they are calling for sharing East Jerusalem as two capitals of two states, now that would give Israel the leeway to redraw East Jerusalem as it wishes, which means we're back at square one."
Most EU ministers appeared supportive of the latest draft, but some said the declaration should not antagonise the situation and risk undermining efforts to restart peace talks.
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's foreign minister, asked "why Israel does not accept that Palestine consists of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem".
"The Israelis have a right to live in Israel, the Palestinians have a right to live in Palestine," he said.
Alexander Stubb, the Finnish foreign minister, said the EU must affirm its stand
on the status of Jerusalem and insist that Israel must not resume settlement
"The EU has very strong principles and we have to stick to those principles,'' he said.
"I think the negotiations, the peace process must simply start and this is a way forward."