This was published by Hadar Sela at The Propagandist
About four years ago I happened to be sitting in a threadbare pub in a northern English mill town on a dank winter evening when two middle-aged, middle class couples sat down at the next table. One of the women was evidently a teacher at the local high school and she was describing to her friends a wedding which she had recently attended. The bride was one of her pupils – a young woman whom she repeatedly described as “my little Palestinian girl”.
Enthusiastic and detailed descriptions of exotic dress, food and ceremony were eventually interrupted by the other woman in the party who somewhat hesitantly expressed discomfort with the fact that such a young girl had taken part in what was, according to the raconteuse, an arranged marriage. Flicking the ends of her fuchsia pink and silver tasselled ethnic-style scarf impatiently, the teacher silenced her friend with the standard debate-killing, politically-correct slogan of last resort employed so often by those afflicted by normative relativism: “But that’s part of their culture!”
Earlier this month twenty-six Europeans of note, including Javier Solana, Mary Robinson, Helmut Schmidt and other former heads of state and dignitaries, sent a letter to European Union capitals and institutions demanding, amongst other things, that EU Foreign Ministers state as doctrine that the EU “Will not recognize any changes to the June 1967 boundaries, and clarify that a Palestinian state should be in sovereign control over territory equivalent to 100 percent of the territory occupied in 1967, including its capital in East Jerusalem.” The letter also specifies a time limit:
“It also asks ministers to set an ultimatum of April 2011 for Israel to fall into line or see the Union seek an end to the existing US-led peace talks in favour of a UN solution.”
Days later, European Union Foreign Ministers expressed their “readiness, when appropriate, to recognize a Palestinian state”; a move which was swiftly followed by a request from leaders of the Palestinian National Authority for a number of individual countries within the EU, as well as the EU envoy to the peace process, to join Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, the Arab world and some African nations in recognizing a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood without a peace agreement.