The Transatlantic “Partnership for Progress and a Common Future with the Region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa” (BMENA) bears the potential to revolutionize Western policies towards the Middle East. However, the chances that BMENA will gain touch with reality are very low if Palestinians are not granted the right of self-determination. This article examines the conflict between Israel and Palestine in its relevance for the policy approaches of the U.S. and the EU towards the Middle East. Reflection on international relations in the Middle East has revealed that the success of Western policies in this region will require a durable peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, there can be hardly any doubt that the conflict over Palestine, the roots of which can be traced back to the late 19th century, escalated in the course of the previous century. No less than five inter-state wars were fought between Israel and its Arab neighbors between 1948 and 1982. Also after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 -East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip- remained a major source of tension. Even two peace treaties made by Israel with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) as well as the Oslo Peace Process (1993) did not bring any progress towards a comprehensive peace in the Middle East...Please click here to read the text in full.