The Middle East seems to be dusky and the scenarios are complicated, especially, after the Russian government successfully blocked any Western backed attack against Damascus. However, on the other side, there is a failure between the Palestinian, Israel and its American ‘moderators’ once again.
The discussion which took place between Obama and Netanyahu at the United Nation General Assembly, simply left most of us scratching or shaking our heads in confusion; ending without any inviting results. No real consideration was given to the on-going negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Obama has praised Netanyahu and his “brave decision” to resume negotiations. On 28th October, Obama called Netanyahu and discussed the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. The white house confirmed that the two leaders discussed the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and regional issues.
The white house confirmed that the two leaders discussed the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and regional issues. Later on the 31st October, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority in the peace negotiations resigned/ threatened to resign. Obama politically sidestepped and forgot to give any credit to the true hero in the matter, President Abbas. President Abbas has resumed the negotiations, with an incapacitated sovereignty over his land and lack of public legitimacy. The meeting, of course ended without any sober pressure on Netanyahu and his government regarding releasing of more of the Palestinian political detainees (including the detained members of the parliament), freezing settlements, halting attacks and at least, but not last- improving human rights conditions in the occupied territories.
The entire Palestinian-Israeli issue is in of the hands of Kerry. Obama has delegated Kerry to manage and moderate the whole what so called peace process. Apparently, the whole meeting was a more quick witted chat about the negotiations and, most likely, they focused more on the phone call between Obama and Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The fact that a ‘conversation on the matter’ took place, simply looks like a pacification to give impressions that ‘peace talks’ are still in place. They’re not. According to Palestinians, Obama praise presented to Netanyahu only demonstrates his support of the occupation, violations of international law, settlement expansions and the annexation of the Palestinians lands.
Three years since the last set of negotiations and in The Post-Oslo failure, apparently is leading to an even bigger debacle that will show how truly fragile is peace process and the two-state solutions is. The PLO, and the ‘old guards’ (a Jurassic and stagnant generation of corruption) are losing legitimacy in the face of the counter-Oslo youth generation, and other movements who are demanding the overthrow of Oslo accord and its engineers. These calls for change have forced to the Palestinian authority and its leadership to reconsider its future; and it seems that PLO and its leadership have now adapted the idea that the peace process is the only hope inside of the conflict.
On the 23rd of September, Abbas met with the Jewish community in New York City and assured them the negotiations is the only remaining way to end the conflict. However, the drums of war seem to be the very heartbeat in in the chest of every Palestinian as the possibility of a third intifada and a new attack on the Gaza Strip lingers in the air. The first and the second Intifada are the best example of that. The emerging leaders of the new movement clearly are intellectuals, academicals, researchers, and youth activists. The young generation of the Palestinians raised and fed on the bitter bread of their fathers failures.
The new political dynamics and variations in the Middle East will continue to have a great impact on the solution for Palestine, and its results will shape the landscape of Middle Eastern politics for the years to come. By comparing the political surroundings that preceded the Oslo accord and Madrid declaration in 1991, we will find that they are hauntingly similar. After the first Gulf war and the financial backing cut off by the Gulf States, the PLO and Arafat had very limited options. This compelled the Palestinians to speed up their efforts to sign a peace accord with Israel, with a promise by the West to fund and assist in building a sovereign and independent Palestinian state… this never came to pass.
Twenty years later, there is a general consensus among the majority of politicians, academics and analysts who consider that Oslo has not fulfilled even its base agreements, except that is, for the security measures. These so called ‘security measures’ that restrict and portray the PA forces and its police as apparatus for the use of protection for Israel and its settlers in the Palestinian territories. History is not repeating itself, but the Palestinians are committing themselves to the same injury. Arabs are so infatuated by internal political chaos and the ‘so called’ Arab Spring that they have become more divided. This has left the Palestinians fragmented and many see the only way to survival being paved by a strong unification and strong stance against ‘the oppressor’. Hamas and Fatah are fighting over powerless authority and meaningless judiciary sovereignty. Above and beyond, all regional and local pressure has failed to bring together the two parties in order to rescue the national project and save the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from ‘the great savage.’
Arabs try to avoid being held accountable for the massacres committed against the Palestinian people by supporting them financially, so that the Palestinians can sustain their livings. However, they claim they have no other alternative than leaving the entire conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. In 1991, there was only one country that hosted an Israeli Embassy; Egypt. Nowadays, most of Gulf countries have an office that represents Israel and her people. Two of these are Qatar and the Emirates, who have trade representative office to cover the actual diplomatic ties with Israel. How quickly ‘conflict’ has worked to the advantage of others. Surely we can see the business behind war, and in short the Oslo accord has succeeded to omit the Arab-Israeli conflict from its real context and replace it with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Now the situation in the Gaza Strip has been taken out of context after the Israeli unilateral disengagement and the world is treating it as a humanitarian crisis under the control of terrorist groups. The new political changes in the region have taken shape it seems, after Kerry-Lavrov agreement in Syria. Netanyahu may accept not to attack Iran while the Americans and the Europeans work closely to guarantee Israel’s militant superiority in the region, with a condition to give Israel the green light to continue the Judaization of Jerusalem and the Palestinian valley.
As we mull this over, as you read, Israel and its military are working with a remarkable speed to expel and demolish homes and entire villages without any legal or morale rationalization. Evidently, this is an acceptable price for the Americans and may lead the Americans to exact even further pressure on the Palestinians to accept on-the-ground situation. The final act: Accept or escape… at least that is what our ‘captors’ want us to believe.
It’s what they planned. Israel, apparently, has made its mind to molest any hope for peace and continue to orchestrate the next scene it its ‘global’ production of its ‘so called self-defence.’ The Jerusalem municipality of Israel has announced its plan to build a new settlement south of the Palestinian occupied Jerusalem, according to Haartz newspaper: Haartz newspaper mentions that Israeli minister of economic, Naftali Bennett, announced that the next months would publish new calls for proposal to construct more and more settlements in the within the Palestinian territories. On the 30th of October, Israel issued demolition warrants for thousands of Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada. Definitely, this will lead the Palestinians to ail from hard times and will cause pessimism towards any cheerful end.
The most imaginable scenario and compelling alternative is another interim agreement that can last for twenty or thirty years. It will be the stepping stone for a legitimate future. This agreement will assist both the Americans in saving face for their failure in the Middle East and the Palestinian Authority leadership to purchase some marginal legitimacy. Such an agreement would aim at liquidating two major issues; the refugees and Land swap including Jerusalem. This comes as a second phase long-term project after the successful Oslo 1.0 to undercut the national demands and the red lines of the Palestinians. Peace can only be achieved by the recognition of the Palestinians’ rights of self-determination and granting Al Nakba and the refugees’ the right of return. Further, there shall be no negotiations on crucial elements such as justice, equity, freedom and full sovereignty. How can there be?
What man is free if another is oppressed? It’s time that the United States, EU and the international players politically confine Hamas and Islamic Jihad by pushing for reconciliation with Fatah. They are a liberation movement and do not share the global Islamic ideology that Al-Qaida or Hizbu Altahrir that Hamas has adapted. This agreement would hold a one-state solution where Jew and Arabs live side by side in a binational state. The two states solution is impractical as the Palestinians will never accept that Acre, Jaffa and Haifa to will also be taken from them. Gazan school children have read and historically have based their identity from Haifa and Jaffa more than Gaza and Ramallah. They know more about Jerusalem and Beer Shebaa more than what they know about Jenin and Rafah.
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|Allen L. Jasson|
|William John Cox|