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Despite its failure to speak with one voice on the 2011 Palestinian UN bid, the EC/EU has shown a remarkable degree of consistency in its declaratory policy towards the conflict over the years. The EPC managed early on to form a common position among the members, and history proved the EC/EU to be forward-thinking in promoting Arab and later Palestinian claims as legitimate demands. As Haim Yacobi and David Newman (2008:183) have correctly noted, the EC/EU has issued declarations that were adopted some years later in a similar way by other countries in the international community, most notably by the U.S., Israel and some of the Arab states.

Both EU leaders and many academics consider it a major success for EU diplomacy that today there is a widespread consensus on the two-state solution (See, for example, Bretherton & Volger 2006:185, Keukeleire &

MacNaughtan 2008:282, Biscop 2003:65).

A major conclusion of this chapter is that the EU is important as a legitimizing power in the conflict. At the same time, the EU faces legitimacy problems vis-à-vis both the Israeli and the Palestinian side of the conflict, These legitimacy problems apart, it is clear that the EU has made an important contribution to peace through its visionary and legitimizing role in defining a just peace in the conflict. As two Israeli academics noted in an editorial in The New York Times, published in June 2010, the 30th anniversary of the Venice Declaration

The verdict is clear: The Europeans were right. They were right to point out that solving the Arab-Israeli conflict required Israel to recognize Palestinian

“self-determination,” the diplomatic code word for independent statehood.

They were right to call for bringing the P.L.O. into the peace process… In fact, the European declaration was not only right but also visionary in that it boldly spelled out the principles that such a comprehensive solution would require… These are the principles that continue to define the contours of the only plausible agreement possible between Israel and the Palestinians.

(Touval & Pardo 2010)

What in this study I will call “Legitimizing power Europe” (LPE) will no doubt continue to play an important role in Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the foreseeable future, not least in questions such as whether products made in Israeli settlements should be marked with specific labels.

6 Securing a just peace: the EU and security sector reform in the Palestinian territories

“If you want to get to a Palestinian state you have to fully support Fayyad.”

International aid practitioner (Interview, 6 December 2010)

“[T]here is no health, economy, development or social development without security.”

Jihad Al-Museimi, PCP Deputy Chief (quoted in EUPOL COPPS Press Release 2010a)

The aim of this chapter and the next is to shed light on how the EU has tried to implement its formula for a just peace in the conflict. Since the EU, as was concluded in the previous chapter, has defined a just peace in the conflict as a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the following two chapters will look into the EU’s role in the Palestinian statebuilding process. This chapter will deal with the security aspects of Palestinian statebuilding: how the EU has worked to establish security in the Palestinian territories, how the EU’s support for the Palestinian security sector has affected the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories and what kind of security has been established. The next chapter will then be about the political and economic aspects of Palestinian statebuilding.

Security has always been an issue of the utmost importance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly for Israel. The first intifada between 1987 and 1991 had exposed Israeli society to the enormous costs involved in maintaining the occupation with its direct military control over the Palestinians. One of the main tenets of the Oslo peace process was therefore that the PA could take care of Israel’s security better than Israel itself

(Robinson 1997:189). The PA was very cautious at the beginning of the peace process not to be seen as being under Israel’s command or doing its direct bidding, at the same time as Israel, as many observers noted, was very open about the fact that it wanted the PA to do its “dirty work” in the West Bank and Gaza (See, for example, Le More 2005:986, Robinson 1997:189, Turner 2012:192). For example, on 7 September 1993, a week before he signed the DOP, former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave an interview to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, in which he said that

I prefer the Palestinians to cope with the problem of enforcing order in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians will be better at it than we were because they will allow no appeals to the Supreme Court and will prevent the Israeli Association of Civil Rights from criticizing the conditions there by denying it access to the area. They will rule by their own methods, freeing, and this is most important, the Israeli army soldiers from having to do what they will do.

(quoted in Le More 2005:986)

According to Martin Indyk, former American ambassador to Israel, the Israelis told the Americans that “Arafat’s job is to clean up Gaza.” (quoted in CBS 60 Minutes, Arafat’s Billions, 2003)

The events over the past decade: the collapse of the peace process at Camp David and the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, the 9/11 attacks and the following War on terrorism, the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza and the subsequent wars Israel fought in these places, have only served to reinforce everybody’s preoccupation with security in the conflict.

During the second intifada, especially following the 9/11 attacks and the peak of the violence in 2002, security became a cornerstone, not just for Israel, but also for the entire international community, in its approaches to the conflict. Consequently, all internationally-sponsored peace plans, negotiations and diplomatic initiatives have since been heavily influenced by the security aspects (Friedrich & Luethold 2007:9). The best known of these initiatives, the “Arab Peace Initiative”, issued by the Arab League on 28 March 2002, and the “Roadmap for peace”, released by the U.S. State Department on 30 April 2003, both strongly emphasized the need for security for all the states in the region, including the future Palestinian state (The Arab League 2002, Quartet on the Middle East 2003). In the five-page Roadmap, which specified a timeline and the steps for the two parties to take in order to reach a settlement under the auspices of the Quartet (the U.S., the

EU, the UN and Russia), the word “security” appears 29 times (Quartet on the Middle East 2003).

6.1 The anomalies of Palestinian security sector