Frederica Mogherini, the EU’s top diplomat, has just declared the importance of creating “a more positive environment” in which negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority can begin again. Elliott Abrams writes:
What is the European Union’s reaction to [the chaos in the Middle East]? To focus on the single aspect of Middle Eastern affairs that is right now calm, and to intervene in ways likely to reduce the calm and create more turbulence. You’ve probably guessed it: fresh from the great and historic victory in the Iran nuclear deal, they now turn once again to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
European leaders have been discussing replacing the Quartet, which consists of the UN, Russia, the EU, and the United States, with some new mechanism.
This would be sensible if there were the slightest indication that there has been no progress in the “peace process” due to failures of the Quartet mechanism. Perhaps it works too slowly, or isn’t persuasive enough, or something like that. But that is false, and clearly any new mechanism that includes only the EU but not the United States will have little clout. It also appears that the history of the last decade is unknown to EU leaders. In that decade PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas first said no to then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s peace offer after the Annapolis conference, and Abbas then refused to engage in the negotiations with Israel that Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama were trying to arrange.