Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a changing world

28-04-2015 13:23

Source: Business Recorder


Participating in a recent UN Security Council debate on the Middle East situation Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the world body, Ambassador Maliha Lodhi, urged the UNSC to adopt a resolution establishing the parameters of Palestinian state, set timeline for ending Israeli occupation and launch a new peace process to take negotiations forward. 


In the past, the UNSC passed numerous pro-Palestinian resolutions, but without effect. The late Yasser Arafat never tired of reminding the international community of UNSC Resolution-242 of 1967 - passed unanimously in the aftermath of the six-day war - that called for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." Nearly 48 years on, Palestinians continue to endure modern history's longest occupation. But it cannot last forever. 


Indeed, the far-right Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, remains as arrogant as ever. During his last month's electoral campaign, he dropped even the pretense of seeking a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, saying he would go on building settlements on the occupied lands, and that there would be no Palestinian state if he were to be re-elected. He was re-elected. 


Israel policy of occupation and oppression remains the same, but the world around it is changing. In an apparent reference to the contribution Palestinian-Israeli conflict has made to an increasing radicalisation in the Arab world, Ambassador Lodhi rightly pointed out that in many ways, Palestine and the plight of its people remained the root cause of conflict and chaos in the region. 


That seems to be an important reason Israel's European friends started making policy adjustments vis-a-vis Palestinian-Israeli conflict before Netanyahu publicly revealed his true intentions about the two-state solution. Sweden turned out to be the first European country last October to recognise Palestinian statehood. Soon afterwards, parliaments of Britain, France, Spain and Ireland passed resolutions urging recognition. The EU Parliament has also been considering slapping trade sanctions against Israel due to its policy of settlements. 


In the meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership has been making gradual progress in winning international recognition. In November 2012, an overwhelming majority of General Assembly vote conferred 'non-member observer state' status to Palestine. As a result, early this month Palestine became a member of the International Criminal Court, permitting it to pursue war crimes cases against Israel. 


The region itself being in a process of upheaval, sooner or later the Western-brokered agreements - literally bought in the case of Egypt - and understandings that provide the Jewish state with protection against Arab Street's anger will lose validity. Time is on the side of Palestinians. 


Ultimately, Israel will find itself isolated, and forced to make a compromise either on a two-state solution based on 1967 borders or one state where Jews, Muslims and Christians live side by side. 


Topics : #RecognisePalestine #Israeli Election #Benjamin Netanyahu #Israeli-Palestinian conflict #Palestinian Rights

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