Contributions from Vincent Fean, Vicky Pryce and Roger Scrutonby Prospect Team / September 19, 2018 / Leave a comment
Read Prospect‘s September issue, “The one state solution,” here
Avraham Burg and Donald Macintyre shed light on the injustice inherent in Israel’s 51 year occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem (“The one state solution,” September). Britain bears its share of responsibility, as the author of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate Power until we walked in 1948. Our government calls the occupation unacceptable and unsustainable. Unacceptable, yes. But it is sustainable, until the cost-benefit calculation of those who impose it changes. Britain has historical responsibilities; we should support Palestinians and Israelis in building a just, peaceful future and press our government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside Israel.
Your editorial challenged us to think the unthinkable. Open minds are certainly needed, but that doesn’t have to mean a one-state solution, where those with power would never share it. I believe it is not just thinkable, but do-able to bring forward—by recognising both states and upholding international law—that two-state solution which remains the best outcome for Israelis, Palestinians and the rest of us. So let us cease to defer to that empty vessel, Donald Trump, and act with partners to make that happen.
Vincent Fean, Chair of the Balfour Project and British Consul-General to Jerusalem, 2010-4
Costs of the ECB
Adam Tooze (“Called to account,” September) is right to worry about the power of the European Central Bank (ECB), given its inflation remit, to exercise undue influence on economic policy. He singles out the conservatism of its past presidents, particularly Jean-Claude Trichet, as having contributed to the depth of the eurozone debt cri- sis after the 2008 financial meltdown.
Mario Draghi, Trichet’s successor, has been much more expansive and has engaged in massive quantitative easing. But it could all be reversed under a more hawkish successor.
My concern is that the ECB’s actions were only part of the problem. The euro was created without the institutional backing needed to deal with crises. There was no fiscal transfer mechanism to countries in need, no risk sharing and no real understanding of the differing needs of disparate countries at different stages of development.
The necessary supporting framework is now finally being put in place. The ECB has also effectively become a “lender of last resort.” But the costs of earlier mistakes will be felt for a long…