Palestine-Israel Conflict: Solution Prescribed Not to Work
The latest US stand on the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is a mockery of reality. They want to convince the world that they have tried their best to solve the problem but have failed. Now it is up to the Palestinians and the Israelis to find out a solution. That is what Israel wants. It is actually an Israeli agenda. Because they know, they are by far the strongest party. And when two parties are not equal, the solution is imposed by the stronger party if impartial “third parties” do not mediate, propose and implement a just and equitable solution. The implementation mechanism must be there in the solution.
The present crisis has taken a pause after a ceasefire has been reached between the two parties shortly after Joe Biden´s real pressure on B. Netanyahu. But new flare-ups in foreseeable time cannot be ruled out till a permanent solution is achieved. The pause to and recurrence of devastating attacks and counterattacks have been going on for decades. The world knows that the overwhelming victims of casualties are Palestinians. But Israel has not achieved the coveted peace in spite of declared victories every times. To achieve a lasting peace it must be based on justice.
It is not correct to say that the US has tried its utmost to find a “just” solution to this conflict. Rather they have entertained and patronized Israeli-sought solutions which are tilted heavily towards Israeli demand-list. Many fundamental and genuine Palestinian interests have been ignored. Take for example the widely publicized “Two-State” solution. The Palestinian leaders agree to a two-state formula. And Israel outwardly says that they are also in favor of a two-state solution. But what type of two states they actually want. It became clear during the Oslo summit where Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin represented respectively Palestine and Israel. It is not only the tiny size of land that was unacceptable to the Palestinians. But the boundaries Israel wanted to demarcate was a virtual negation to the viable statehood of Palestine. The proposed Palestine state was divided into several tiny parts many of which were not connected with one another. They offered a Palestine state like the one the then apartheid South African colonial power offered to the black South Africans in the form of mutually disconnected “Bantustans.” Knowing fully well that Bantustan-like offer would not work, Israel placed a similar proposal to show the world that they were willing to a two-state solution. Had USA and other mediators tried sincerely and steadfastly to establish a viable Palestine, it would have been established at that time and even earlier. If the US and Israel are serious about a two-state solution, they must ensure the viability of the proposed state of Palestine.
Some are even proposing a one-state solution where both the Palestinians and the Israelis will live side by side in Israel. The proponents of this solution are living in a fool´s paradise. If all the Palestinians, including the “refugees” living in Gaza, Ramallah, and the West Bank are allowed citizenship of Israel with equal political rights, the basic character of the state of Israel will be changed. In that case, the demography will change in favor of Palestinians. They will be either majority or almost equal in numbers. Israel will no longer remain a Jewish state which is the basic character of Israel. The Zionist forces which govern the state of Israel will never accept such a scenario.
The present Israeli-Palestinian crisis might lead to a greater crisis of mass expulsion of Arab Israelis from the Zionist state. Now around 20% of population of Israel are Arab-Israelis most of whom are Palestinian Israelis. Lately, they have gained considerable political power. They have become a deciding factor in the formation of the government. At present there are 10 Arab-Israeli members in the Knesset. Extremist Israelis do not like this. They want to get rid of the growing influence of Arab Israelis. Many observers believe that this is one of the reasons of recent riots between the Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis inside Israel. Some Jewish groups want to expel Arabs from the Jewish state. Their calculation is, if rioting continues, many Arabs will be forced to leave Israel. In that case, the remaining Arabs will be further marginalized, their representation in the Knesset will be insignificant and their influence will be diminished. They can get rid of Arabs without official expulsion. This is a new dangerous development.
The solution is possible if the international community, particularly the US takes an unbiased and active role with the determined commitment to bring the conflict to an end. The basic principles of solutions have already been categorically envisaged in the relevant proposals adopted by the UN long ago. Israel must withdraw from the occupied territories there a Palestine state should be really established. The existence of Israel and Palestine must be guaranteed by the world community including the big powers. If the US argues that Israel and Palestinian authority/entity should themselves find out a solution, then it is the imperative duty of Washington to establish a balance of strength between Israelis and the Palestinians, because without equal footings and powers it is impossible to attain any just solution. And it is mainly the USA that has destroyed the balance of strength between the two parties. They must amend it.
Anisur Rahman is a senior Bangladeshi journalist now living in Sweden. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org