A scholar and expert on European policy feels it's unfortunate
that countries like Great Britain and Germany opted to abstain from
voting on the Palestinian state resolution last week at the United
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his
cabinet will travel to Germany this week -- after Germany joined
Britain and several other Western nations in abstaining on a
U.N. vote to recognize a Palestinian state. Israel, the United
States, Canada and a handful of other countries voted against the
resolution; more than 130 voted in favor.
Germany is traditionally one of Israel's staunchest allies in
Europe. It abstained because it feared the Palestinians' move could
further harden positions in the stalled Middle East peace process,
but stopped short of voting "no" to their call for recognition.
Brett Schaefer is a fellow at the Margaret Thatcher Center for
Freedom at The
Heritage Foundation. He says countries like Germany and Britain
do not want to choose sides.
"The Europeans see themselves as sort of 'middle men' in trying
to negotiate this process," he explains. "The Europeans envision
themselves as trying to be honest brokers or negotiators in trying
to mediate the peace. Unfortunately, I think they're misreading the
Schaefer believes the vote last week will only encourage the
Palestinians to take more rash actions.
"[They will] try and isolate Israel in terms of perhaps inviting
the International Criminal Court to extend its jurisdiction there,"
he predicts. "And perhaps they would also be emboldened to
encourage more terrorist acts such as those we saw occurring in the
rocket strikes out of Gaza earlier this month."
Schaefer thinks it is very unfortunate that the vote took