It is obviously in the interests of not only Israel and the Palestinians but also the US and world at large to bring this conflict to an end.
The US, the international community, the Palestinians (both the Fatah and its supporters as also Hamas and its followers) and Israeli leaders have made public declarations to the effect that they are committed to a solution that embraces two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace side by side. The entire Arab world has agreed to recognize Israel if it withdraws to the 1967 borders.
And yet, though the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has been going on for generations now, a resolution of the dispute remains elusive.
There are two main reasons for this.
There are world powers eager to establish their presence in this strategic region. They fan the fires between Israel and the Palestinians and between Fatah (which controls the West Bank) and Hamas (which controls the Gaza Strip). In the guise of helping one or the other, they pour in aid and armaments.
The chief reason however is that the leaders who control the government of Israel, though they pay lip service to peace and the two-state solution, persist in their determination and efforts to establish Eretz Yisraeel on all of the land west of the Jordan River.
Israeli propaganda goes on claiming that Israel accepted the UN resolution but the Palestinians did not. In fact, Israel's acceptance was partial. It never accepted the boundaries as set out by the UN, and its leaders assured the Jews that the establishment of Israel was the first step to reclaim all of Palestine as it existed just prior to the creation of Israel. There is ample documentation of these assurances made by responsible Israeli leaders.
In pursuance of this goal, Israel fired the fist shot in 1967, launched the war, invaded and captured the West Bank, The Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan Heights. Its dream of reclaiming all of Biblical Israel was realized.
Left to itself, Israel would not part with an inch of all this land. If it now talks of a two- state solution it is only because Israeli leaders realized, rather late in the day, that demograhics would pose a serious problem to their holding on to all the land. Soon the Arab population would outstrip the Jewish population. Then Israel would cease to be Jewish. Alternatively, it would have to turn itself into an ApartheidState if it wanted to continue being a Jewish state. None of these two alternatives was acceptable.
And hence the "commitment" to two-states. But what Israel intends is to divest itself of as many Arabs as possible and corral them on small, disconnected pieces of land surrounded by Israel! And call these conglomeration of Bantustans the state of the Palestinians, the second state with which it will live in peace side by side!
This, clearly, the Palestinians cannot and will never accept.
Bearing in mind this fundamental fact, all this talk of peace and the peace process is a farce, a faÃ§ade to enable Israel to put more "facts on the ground" and consolidate its hold on the Palestinians. Israel's refusal to meet the recent demand of the Obama administration to freeze all construction of settlements on Palestinian lands is stark proof of this.
Given Israel's firm resolve in this matter, seeking peace in the region through a negotiated resolution of the conflict by Israel and Palestinians is to keep barking up the wrong tree.
For the UN to take the Israeli-Palestinian issue out of its orbit and ask the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the "dispute" by bilateral negotiations was an error to start with. To keep pressing for such negotiations is a grave injustice to the Palestinians. On the one side you have a powerful country, with an army among the largest and most powerful in the world. On the other, people who have no army, no armaments worth the name, their homes destroyed, their economy ruined, living under the boots of their brutal occupiers. They have no leverage. The situation is obviously and unbearably asymmetric. In such circumstances, to expect a just negotiated settlement between the two parties is unrealistic and naivetÃ© of the first order.
Israel, in defiance of a number of UN resolutions, has continued to illegally occupy the Palestinian lands for more than 40 years now. It has been the longest and most brutal occupation in current history. Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians, demolished their homes, devastated their cities, confiscated their lands, ruined their economy and driven them to poverty.. It continues to humiliate them daily and make their life as miserable as possible through a myriad of checkpoints within West Bank itself, making it impossible for the Palestinians to travel freely in their own land, keeping families separated, preventing timely access to hospitals, creating hurdles for students to go to schools.
And all this, to its shame and disgrace, has been going on in full view of the entire world!
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