By Eli E. Hertz
1st part of 4
Links and footnotes in part 4
A case in point - In the eyes of the European Union, the quality of life of its citizens is much more sacred than the security and well being of Israelis.
European yardsticks for
European yardsticks for Palestinians, a hostile society, joining the Family of Nations - amounts to praise for fabricated non-existent reforms and calls to drop the required incremental progress from the Road Map. End to violence and democratic reform, that Palestinians haven’t even begun is tolerable – all in order to forge the way for immediate establishment of a Palestinian state, one which will endanger the very survival of a free and democratic
The historic decision of the European Commission in mid-December 2004 that
Keep in mind the goals and the ramifications of each: The Turks’ goal is membership in the European Union – a political union that the Europeans already say will have an iron-clad reversibility clause for Turkey if it fails to live up to its promises. The Palestinians’ goal is sovereignty as a State – status for which there is no reversibility mechanism if
Alas, nothing could be farther from the truth.
For 40 years – since 1963,
Negotiations are expected to take ten to fifteen years, and even then “the outcome is not a foregone conclusion,” declared Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission.
The first yardstick for progress is to meet the Copenhagen Political Criteria adopted in June 1993 by the EU, which states:
Olli Rehn, the member of the European Commission responsible for EU Enlargement, made it clear in an address to the European Parliament that there are no ‘discounts’ for
The fundamental freedoms Rehn cites include “women’s rights trade union rights, minority rights and problems faced by non-Muslim religious communities” and “consolidation and broadening” of legal reforms including “alignment of law enforcement and judicial practice with the spirit of the reforms” and a host of other demands. In fact,
If this wasn’t clear enough, President Prodi told the European Parliament the breadth and the tempo negotiations should take:
To what degree
Compliance included making the domestic legal system subservient to a series of overarching EU conventions and courts; rewriting the entire Penal Code. Adopting 261 new laws between October 2003 and July 2004 alone, including abolishing capital punishment; and totally revamping the structure of the courts from abolishment of security courts down to reducing case loads in lower courts, setting new criteria for judgeships and even mandating salary scales of junior magistrates, and providing legal aid.
All this said and done, Enlargement chief Rehn nevertheless underscored:
In contrast with all the other candidate nations – all of them 'European-Christian' countries -
This paper benchmarks EU demands of both Turks and Palestinians on a number of key issues.
During four of the five years that Turkey’s very eligibility to sit at the negotiating table with Europeans was being weighed on the basis of whether Turkey met demands for sweeping reforms of its political and legal structure, coupled with European demands that all Turks acculturate themselves to European standards and values – in word and deed.
Palestinian leadership walked away from Final Status talks at
Palestinian society itself lacks any semblance of internal ‘rule of law’ or civic society. Palestinian human rights organizations report domestic violence and clan vendettas have intensified, and extortion, gang rule and general misuse of power at all levels have become an enduring feature of Palestinian society since self-rule was established a decade ago. The chief human rights group within the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), labeled this phenomenon “an Intra’fada.”
These ‘realities on the ground’ – hardly consonant with European standards demanded of
Eli E. Hertz
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