A “Quartet” of official bodies was set up in 2002 to help facilitate peace between Israel and the Arab world. The four entities include the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia. The principal parties of the Quartet (the U.N. Secretary General, the U.S. Secretary of State, the Russian Foreign Minister and the High Representative of E.U. Foreign Affairs) meet regularly to assess the latest developments in the region.
Roughly 17 years later, there has been little advancement towards a broader peace agreement.
Lately, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired a decade ago) said that the United States was too biased in Israel’s favor to be considered a mediator in the conflict saying “by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel the US government has proved that it is not neutral, which led us to reject its peace plan.” Other complaints include America cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority and U.N. agencies which provide assistance to Palestinians (Abbas did not mention that the aid was cut because he helps fund terrorism).
However, the United States is just one member of the Quartet. Why shouldn’t it have its own bilateral relationship with Israel and approach toward the peace process?
Consider that the United Nations is extremely biased in favor of the Palestinians, essentially adopting them as a child decades ago. It has set up separate agencies just for the Palestinians, condemned Israel more than any country in the world, created new forms of “inalienable rights” uniquely for Palestinian Arabs, and generally has taken actions that make clear it regrets its role in helping establish Israel. The global body has over 50 Arab and Muslim countries, of which the majority do not even recognize the existence of the Jewish State. It is unlikely to ever side with the Jewish State in negotiations with a Muslim state.
The European Union has also been a biased actor in favor of the Palestinians. Several of its members have recognized the State of Palestine, and have promoted boycotts of Israeli goods and services. The proposed incoming High Representative of E.U. Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell Fontelles is a major critic of Israel.
Russia is an ally of several countries at war with Israel including Syria and Iran, which has threatened to destroy Israel. Russia has stated that it will propose an alternative peace plan than the one due to be proposed by the U.S.A.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) greets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia,
May 11, 2017. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
With three of the four members of the Quartet biased in favor of the Arabs, it would be a travesty of justice for there to be no party biased in favor of Israel. It is as though the court only has a prosecution with no defense, and the judge is the brother of the prosecutor.
In truth, not only should the United States be highly biased in favor of its strong ally, Israel, there should be at least one other member of the Quartet to be pro-Israel to have a balanced approach. As the United Nations is hopelessly biased against Israel, it should be removed from the Quartet and replaced with another country of Israel’s choice – perhaps Australia, Canada or even India.
Should the United States become the sole mediator of the Arab-Israeli conflict, then it would be worth a discussion of America playing a more neutral role. However, as long as there are four parties playing that role, the U.S. should forcefully advance the cause of Israel, and the U.N. should be replaced in the Quartet by another pro-Israel party to properly balance the discussions.
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