Middle East: Europe should rethink its aid to Palestine

Palestinian boy in school building hit by Israeli rocket attack near Netzarim, Gaza strip. (AFP)
Palestinian boy in school building hit by Israeli rocket attack near Netzarim, Gaza strip. (AFP)
Financial Times (London)

Following Catherine Ashton’s trip to Israel and Palestine, EU foreign ministers are gathered in Brussels on 22 March seeking to define union policy in the Middle East. According to the Financial Times, it should start by rethinking the question of aid to the Palestinian territories.

Baroness Ashton, European Union foreign policy chief, has made few waves with her trip to Israel and the Gaza Strip. She should take the opportunity to rebalance the EU’s failed approach towards the Middle East peace process. If she does not, her visit will have been truly wasted.

Much debate has focused on the EU’s lack of influence over Israel. Last year the EU froze talks over an upgraded association agreement with Israel and shifted its position on issues such as the status of Jerusalem in a pro-Palestinian direction. But the Israeli refusal to halt settlement construction suggests these measures had little impact. The claim made by Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spain’s foreign minister, that the Spanish EU presidency would move the diplomatic track of the peace process definitively towards a final settlement looks little more than overblown bluster. Read full article in Financial Times...

Factual or translation error? Tell us.