LibLink: Shirley Williams on a role for Europe in solving the Gaza crisis

Many thanks to Paul Walter for bringing our attention to this piece, written by Baroness Shirley Williams for the Guardian last week.

In it, she calls for a more activist stance by the European Union, given her view that America is not, and cannot be, an effective mediator between the two sides in the Gaza crisis.

The EU, as the main financier of the Palestinian Authority, is in a position to influence the PLO and to work with the Arab League on a settlement. The US remains Israel’s essential ally, but as a mediator is hobbled by the dependence of its legislators on politically motivated funding. If we are not to see endemic conflict leading to disaster for both the Palestinian territories and Israel, the EU must find its voice.

She also reminds us, as we mark the centenary of the beginning of World War I, that we have lost sight of the concept of a just war, where the lives of civilians are respected and protected.

However, regardless of your stance on Gaza, historians and students of geopolitics will note with interest her thoughts on the future of the region, and especially her suggestion that the artificial borders designated by European politicians in the post-1918 period might not have much longer before they are redrawn.

Please note that, as is our usual policy on Israel/Palestine articles, all comments will be reviewed by a member of the Editorial Team prior to publication. Your anticipated patience and co-operation is appreciated.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

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  • Although it is very difficult to disagree with the view expressed by Baroness Shirley Williams, such is the nature of geopolitics today – I think it very unlikely that EU leaders will do anything to displease the US at this time.

    It seems clear that Obama intends to do as little as possible to thwart Israeli ambitions for Gaza – this seems to be to make the area inhabitable by the Palestinians by flattening as much as possible and ensuring that it cannot be rebuilt through blockade.

  • Richard Dean 11th Aug '14 - 1:54pm

    Newshound, who are you, and are you awake? Shirley’s item was featured at the time by LDV!

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