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The gradual withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East puts increasing pressure on Europe to help foster peace in the region. With complex and heated wars threatening to bring about the collapse of states such as Syria and Iraq, and the long-simmering conflict between Israel and Palestine seemingly as far from resolution as ever, it is almost easier to ask what Europe should avoid doing than what it should do.The Likewise, when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Europe must recognize that both sides are hypersensitive.Palestine's response to Israel's release in December of 26 political prisoners – the third batch from a total of 104 detainees that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to release when the peace talks were revived last summer – is a case in point.The same is true of religious conflicts throughout the Middle East. Instead of getting sucked into historical enmities and impassioned disputes, Europe must be resolved to fight implacably against all forms of jihadism, while consistently supporting progress toward conflict resolution.
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