In preparation for the upcoming meeting between the European Union’s various foreign ministers and their Arab League counterparts, Spiegel International Online interviewed Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on, among other things, Israeli settlement building. This exchange, in particular, was interesting [emphasis added]:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Violence is also escalating in the Gaza Strip.
Asselborn: No one can or should justify violence—not even if it originates with Palestinians in Gaza.
Not even if it originates with terrorists.
And this exchange:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to meet the Palestinian president immediately in Ramallah or Jerusalem for peace talks. Why are the Palestinians rejecting this offer?
Asselborn: Because it is just lip service. The Israeli settlement policy is an affront to every Palestinian because it is a constant provocation.
But, of course, the constant rocket attacks and the steady drumbeat of suicide bombing attempts from Gaza aren’t at all provocative.
No, if it’s an Israeli move, it’s just lip service; if it’s a PLO or Hamas move, it’s entirely innocent and sincere.