EU står för notan. Men andra bestämmer politiken. Det dags att kräva resultat, skriver EU:s tidigare utrikeskommissionär om unionens misslyckade politik i Mellanöstern.
Chris Pattens läsvärda artikel publiceras i The Guardian:
EU har bidragit med många miljarder bl a till den Palestinska Myndigheten - men uppbyggnaden av den infrastruktur som är nödvändig för en tvåstatslösning har medvetet brutits ned, skriver Patten:
" The infrastructure built by European money on the West Bank and in Gaza was systematically trashed by the Israeli Defence Forces in 2002. They were responding to horrific suicide bombings in Israel. Anything that might be seen to provide the sinews of government was destroyed - including the land registry, courts and police stations. This did not obviously advance the prospect of a two-state solution."
EU har finansierat ett förfärligt misslyckande, utan att lägga sig i politiken som bestämdes i Tel Aviv och Washington, skriver Chris Patten:
" Europe was in effect fulfilling its now historic role of financing the terrible failure of policies laid down not in Brussels, but in Tel Aviv and Washington. Doubtless Europe is getting ready to do the same again.
" From 2000 to 2008, European commission funding to Palestine totalled nearly €3bn. In the last couple of years, about half the funding went to Gaza, for example in fuel for the power plant and help for impoverished families. Over the last 10 years about €50m has been spent in Gaza on physical infrastructure work, part of a much larger sum committed but not spent. To all these figures should be added the development assistance paid for directly by member states."
Om EU ska fortsätta att betala - bör unionen kräva politiska resultat, tycker han:
" The first step would be to respond positively to the call from Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, for the formation of a unity government. There was one after Hamas won a majority of seats in the 2006 parliamentary elections.
"After active diplomatic efforts by Saudi Arabia, Hamas and Fatah were locked into an uneasy truce which was split asunder in part by the US and European refusal to deal with Hamas. Presumably any unity government formed today would require another Fatah-Hamas deal, brokered by Arab governments. But would the world then deal with the government that emerged? Without Hamas, how would any peace deal be sold to the Palestinians? The diplomatic trick is not how to justify the isolation of Hamas but how to ease them out of their isolation, to get them to endorse a permanent ceasefire, and to release captive Corporal Shalit."
Och han avslutar:
"Before Europe does the easy bit - even in these financially straitened times - and writes more cheques, we should at least ask ourselves what exactly we are buying with our money. It would be a real breakthrough if the answer was peace."