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*Sent:* Friday, April 07, 2006 11:28 PM

Dear Ambassador Otte,

I am puzzled and troubled by the position adopted by the EU toward the
new Palestinian government.

If Europe wishes to receive a positive response to its demands (rather
than, as it appears from the region, simply seeking an excuse to join
the Israelis and Americans in punishing the Palestinian people for
choosing democratically a new leadership of /their/ choice rather than
of Israel's choice), surely it would make sense to specify clearly
*WHAT* Israel (i.e., within what borders) Europe is demanding be
recognized as a precondition to avoiding punishment.

Europe, like most of the world, recognizes Israel within its June 4,
1967 borders (subject to reservations regarding the legal status of West
Jerusalem in light of the UN's /corpus/ /separatum /principle). Why not
be clear that *THIS* is the "Israel" you are asking the new Palestinian
leadership to recognize?

If Europe did so, it might receive a positive response -- particularly
if this clarification were coupled with either (i) a matching demand
that Israel recognize Palestine within the 22% portion of historical
Palestine beyond Israel's June 4, 1967 borders or (ii) an alternative
that Palestine accept Israel within its current area of effective
control (i.e., the entire former Palestine mandate) on the condition
that it become a secular democratic state without any form of
discrimination based on race or religion and with equal rights for all
who live there (i.e., just like an EU state).

As to Europe's other demands, I am certain that you must recognize
personally the logical and ethical incoherence of demanding that a
people under foreign military occupation for 39 years "renounce
violence" without at the same time demanding that their occupiers
similarly renounce violence and of demanding that the new
Palestinian government honor all the agreements entered into by its
discredited and rejected predecessors without similarly demanding
that the new Israeli government honor the same agreements.

Viewed from the region, there can be only one explanation for this
flagrant double standard -- raw, rabid racism.

The people of the region have learned to expect this from the United
States. They used to expect better from Europe.

As you know, I care deeply about justice for the long-abused Palestinian
people, but I also care deeply about Europe, my adopted homeland, to
which I immigrated from the United States 30 years ago and where I look
forward to retiring a few years hence.

I believe that, by adopting the same blatantly racist posture as Israel
and the United States, Europe risks doing irreparable damage to its
position in the Middle East and convincing Arabs and Muslims everywhere
that not just the United States but the West/Christendom as a whole
views them as sub-humans unworthy of basic human rights, thereby truly
launching a "war of civilizations" which will not be confined in its
violence to the Middle East.

This seems /so/ unnecessary. I cannot understand why Europe is behaving
in this immoral and self-destructive manner.

I hope that you can somehow convince those with whom you work and from
whom you must, like any good diplomat, take your instructions to rethink
what they are doing and to follow a wiser, more humane and more decent
course than the one on which Europe is currently embarked.

Kind regards,
John Whitbeck
Jeddah and Paris
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