Carlo Strenger: Israel and Palestine need Europe to make peace

Professor Carlo Strenger

“Under such conditions there is only the solution suggested by our panel’s research: a permanent peace conference that is not limited in time, involving all parties, including the Arab League, and, in the long run, Iran.

Britain, Germany and France could play a crucial role in setting up and sponsoring such a framework, because the US have lost their status as honest brokers through the blunders of the George W. Bush era – even though it is to be hoped that the next American administration will be open to multilateralist approach and undo some of the damages of the last seven years.

Britons, Germans and French might well ask: “but why should we get involved in the most intractable conflict on the globe?”

I believe there is a compelling answer. The tension between the west and political Islam is probably the number one geopolitical problem in the world, and Europe, for geographic and historical reasons is involved in it up to its neck. While the tension between the Islamic world and the west has deep historical roots and is not caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the latter has become the icon for the clash of the west and Islam – a paradigm that is on the way to becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Solving it is among Europe’s existential interests and hence more than worth the trouble.”

From “Israel and Palestine need Europe to make peace”, in the Guardian online, 22 July 2008

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