It is a letter containing such gems of ignorance and anti-Israel reflex as this:
We have watched with increasing disappointment over the past five years the failure of the parties to start any kind of productive discussion, and of the international community under American and/or European leadership to promote such discussion. We have also noted with frustration and deep concern the deteriorating standards of humanitarian and human rights care of the population in the Occupied Territories.It is not clear what these self-described "eminent" people have been doing over the past five years, but clearly they have not been paying attention.
Abrams removes the facade of respectability from such an ignorant comment with ease:
The failure of the parties? Five years? Five years ago, in the spring of 2008, the parties were negotiating, apparently seriously, as part of what was then called “the Annapolis process.” That failed when Mahmoud Abbas refused an extremely generous offer from Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. The Formerly Eminent Persons appear to have forgotten this, or far more likely to be seeking to avoid that truth. Equally inaccurate is their line about the “failure of the parties,” a phrase which refuses to acknowledge that only the Palestinians have refused to negotiate in the last four years, not “the parties.”Not unexpectedly, their Eminences have nothing other in mind than the need to apply more pressure on Israel to make further unilateral concessions to the Arabs.
However, Abrams does not find this nonsense totally useless:
This letter is a useful reminder of European attitudes, at least at the level of the Eminent: Blame Israel, treat the Palestinians as children, wring your hands over the terrible way the Americans conduct diplomacy.He also notes that the letter illustrates the EU's declining influence with Israel -- a fact that will not be lost on the Palestinian Arabs these people claim to be trying to help.
Such a conclusion appears to be eminently reasonable.
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