News came today that Spain is leading the charge for a new Europe-focused middle east peace plan. Prime Minister Zapatero has announced that Spain, France and Italy are going to launch a new Middle East peace initiative without the United States.
The three countries are going to put the plan to the European Council summit in December. The idea could go hand-in-hand with Tony Blair’s emphasis on solving the Palestinian crisis. So what would a European approach to solving the crisis that leaves out the US mean for the crisis? Well for one thing such an approach is certain to be significantly less sympathetic to Israel. As long as Israel thinks it can act with impunity, it will be hard to resolve the situation. Israel will continue to react disproportionately to the violence, escalating the situation further.
Considering how preoccupied the Bush Administration is with Iraq and how little interest it has shown in Palestine, perhaps they would even welcome the help. Perhaps this is the best time for Europe to step in and take charge.