Mediation in the Arab-Palestinian Conflict - Konrad-Adenauer

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Mediation in the
Arab-Palestinian Conflict:
What Role Can the EU play?
Dr. Martin Beck
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung,
Amman, Jordan
Content
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1.Theory:
1.1 Basic Assumptions
1.2 Structure of the Isr.-Pal. Conflict
1.3 EU Mediation: Leverage Points?
1.4 EU Mediation: Success Conditions
2. Empirical-Historical Analysis:
2.1 Before 1967: No chance, no will
2.2 1970/80s: Declaratory policy of a „Civilian Power“
2.3 1990s: Limited success
2.4 Since 2000: Even more limited success
1. Basic Assumptions
• No „veil of uncertainty“ (Oran Young) anymore in
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
• No „zones of agreement“ etc. to be discovered
anymore in the Israeli-Palestinian case
• No succesful mediation without power
capabilities (in the Israeli-Palestinian case):
• Thus, finding leverage points is crucial. To find
them, we first need to identify the structure of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
1.1 Until 1967: Deadlock Situation
Arabs
C
D
Israel
Bi-National State, Partition
of Israel
C
2:2
Arab Recognition of Israel
D
4:1
Arab Rule over Israel
1:4
Israeli Rule over Israel NonRecognized by the Arabs
3:3
M, N, P
1.2 Since 1967: Dilemma Situation
PLO
C
D
Israel
Limited Palestinian
Sovereignty over EJ, W, G
C
3:3
P
Palestinian Waiver of
Sovereignty
D
4:1
P
Unconditional Israeli
Withdrawal from EJ, W, G
1:4
P
Prolonged Occupation
2:2
M, N
1.2 Leverage Points for EU
Mediation
• Palestine
- 1967-1993: limited (diplomatic
recognition)
- after 1993: strong (conditioning political
rents)
• Israel
- Since 1967: very limited (partly due to
US support of Israel)
1.3 Success Conditions
for EU Mediation
• Palestine:
- 1967-1993: Low
- Since 1993: High (PLO: Rents!)
• Israel
- Since 1967: Very low (certain degree of
sensitivity but very low degree of vulnerability)
• Overall (in terms of the conflict as a whole)
- 1967-1993: Low
- Since 1993: Significant only if US puts
pressure on Israel
2.1 Before 1967:
No Chance, no Will
• Deadlock Situation: No scope for
mediation
• European actors were rather escalating
than moderating the conflict:
- Suez War 1956
- 1960s: strong French military support
towards Israel
2.2 1970/80s: Declaratory Policy of
a „Civilian Power“
• Declaration of Venice:
- the Palestinian issue more than a
„refugee problem“
- PLO „will have to be associated with the
negotiations“
- „the Palestinian people, which is
conscious of existing as such, must be
placed in a position (…) to exercise fully its
right to self-dermination.“
2.2 1970/80s: Declaratory Policy of
a „Civilian Power“
• The declaratory approach has often been
critisized as weak
• However, taken context conditions for granted,
not much more could have been achieved.
• Succesful insofar as the European position—the
recognition of the Palestinians as a people and
the PLO as its legitimate representative—
shaped world politics.
2.3 1990s: Policy of Conditionality
with Limited Impact
• Impact: Western including European rent
donations were the most important single
factor causing the Oslo agreements
• However, two major problems of Oslo:
- Asymmetry in benefits for Israel and the
PLO
- Exclusion of the societal level
2.3 Since 2000: Policy of Conditionality with Even Less Impact
• Limited Impact: PLO/Fatah (but Hamas!)
• Administration rather than regulation of the
conflict
• Direct Negotiations will come in 2010
(most probably still in August)
• Yet, chances of a durable conflict
regulation are very low.
3. Conclusion
• General conditions for EU mediation are rather
difficult:
- Complicated (Graduated) Dilemma Situation
- No leverage point in the case of Israel
- No leverage point in the case of Hamas
• Therefore, EU success in mediation has been
limited.
• Yet, sometimes its impact is better than its
reputation (declaratory policy of the 1970/80s)
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