Mediterranean Forum looking toward the Middle East

Israel did not participate in the event held on November 27 in Barcelona. The forum upheld the “two-state” policy. Humanitarian criticism was combined with strategic support for Israel. Solidarity with Palestine also requires discussing how to achieve a fair and lasting peace in the region.

On November 27, the 18th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the intergovernmental organization comprised of 43 European and Mediterranean states, took place in Barcelona. It was chaired by the Spanish Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, and Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan. Usually, the meeting is dedicated to issues related to the development and stability of the region. On this occasion, the only item on the agenda was the situation in the Middle East.

Absent Zionists

The Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, was present at the event, but Israel did not participate because it did not agree with the agenda and due to the diplomatic crisis unleashed a few days ago with Pedro Sánchez, president of Spain and the Council of the European Union. The tension reached such a point that before the event, Borrel had to clarify: “The Barcelona forum is not a plot against Israel.” Surely, the Zionists also evaluated the political convenience of attending an event where they would receive some criticism in a country mobilized in favor of Palestine.

The Forum’s proposals

The agreements made reference to “respecting international law,” “the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” and the “recovery of the two-state solution.” Borrell proposed: the extension of the truce [1] to allow the release of all the hostages and a definitive ceasefire; prevent the “recolonization” of Gaza by Israel; reject the “illegal colonization” in the West Bank and the return of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to Gaza.

Borrel and the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, nominated the PNA, led by Mahmud Abbas, to take over the administration of Gaza once the conflict is finished. For Albares, “Hamas is not a partner for peace, it cannot be within the equation for peace,” and the solution “can only involve a two-state solution,” Israeli and Palestinian, “that coexist in peace.” According to them, they want to avoid a power vacuum in Gaza that would turn it into a “cradle for more violence and more terrorism.” In other words, they intend to displace Hamas, from whose organization irreconcilable differences separate us so that the PNA takes over the leadership as a guarantee that there will be deceitful agreements and not Intifadas, or Palestinian resistance.

Specific criticism, strategic support for Israel

The current position of the European imperialist bloc is nuanced by humanitarian demands and those referred to international law. It is the least they are forced to do in the face of the massacre and the massive mobilizations that are sweeping the Old Continent. US imperialism also tries to varnish its policy of unrestricted support for Israel by posing as humanitarian. However, they maintain an unambiguous strategy of support for Israel. They insist as a priority on recognizing their “right to defend themselves” from Hamas attacks and erase from discourse the origin and colonizing and racist development of the State of Israel on Palestine. The cynicism of Western imperialism is a fundamental component of its policy.

They try to revive the corpse of Oslo

At the Forum, they attempted to revive the corpse of the Oslo Accords, wrapped in the shroud of the “two-state” policy. They uphold the 1993 Agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) because they recognized the State of Israel; they were a trap to stop the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people and left aside the demand for a secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine.

30 years have passed and the consequences of that betrayal by Yasser Arafat are visible. The “two-state” policy has only served to consolidate Zionist conquests, endorse the occupation of new territories in Gaza and the West Bank, and arm itself to provoke a new genocide. With good reason, in every mobilization led by Palestinians and followed by thousands and thousands of supportive people, the slogans “Israel murders, Europe sponsors” and “Free Palestine, from the river to the sea” resound.

Long live the struggle of the Palestinian people!

The holding of the Forum motivated demonstrations, both the day before and at the beginning of the event, amid a huge police deployment. Permanent and massive mobilization points the way forward in Europe, in the Arab countries and throughout the world. From the International Socialist League (ISL) we support the mobilizations and solidarity actions with Palestine. We deploy an internationalist campaign denouncing that there is an ongoing genocide, not a war. And in each country, we propose that the actions demand that the administration in office immediately sever relations with Israel[2] , as some Latin American countries and recently the Barcelona City Council have already done. Political rupture and economic boycott are tools to weaken the Zionist aggressors and unmask those who have double-talk like Pedro Sánchez. The Spanish president, on the one hand, lukewarmly criticizes the genocide while, on the other hand, he visits Tel Aviv, shakes Netanyahu’s hand and, despite the grievances he received, does not cause Spain to break relations with Israel. On the contrary, he considers it a “friendly” country, with which he also maintains a million-dollar commercial and military exchange. Contrary to the intention to revive the policy of “two states”, of “a democratic Jewish State” or an “Islamic State”, we propose the need to fight for a fundamental solution, the only one that can achieve a lasting and fair peace in the Middle East: a single, secular, democratic and socialist Palestine.