The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No New Horizons

Nothing new came out from the UN General Assembly in New York regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead probably the statement made by Mr Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, about Russia’s willingness to contribute for the solution of the Conflict.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, President Donald Trump did not even mentioned that conflict. Instead he focused on Iran and North Korea.

On the other hand, Trump discused the conflict with both the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu. After those meetings he continued to talk about the "Grand Deal" to be made, but, as usual, since he took his post, no details were given.

One will wonder in this regard what such a "Grand Deal" will look like if the US Administration did not give its support to Israeli settlement freeze, giving the floor to Israel to build thousands of new settlements units in the last eight months on the expense of the continuously shrinking space for the State of Palestine?

Bigger doubt about the administration capability to get to a grand deal, will be raised on the basis of the administration abstention to give its support to the two states solutions on 1967 borders, being the only one that can provide the Palestinians with their ambition for self determination, and can provide Israel with all the conditions required in order to keep its Jewish majority.

What other solutions are then provided? This month Al Quds Newspaper in Jerusalem quoted sources in the White House, that the solution to be offered by the US will provide no more than a full Autonomy to the Palestinians, while security, borders control and the external relations will be kept in the hands of Israel. 

If this proposal will be presented, why it is presumed that the Palestinians will accept it, given that it keeps them under the upper hand of the Israeli occupation?

All these components make it difficult to believe, that the American administration is in its way to break an Israeli-Palestinian deal. Yet there are other procedural components that enforce this difficulty.

Jumpstarting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Zvi Magen Vera Michlin-Shapir
The US effort to break the deadlock in which the peace process has been in recent years had intensified approximately a year ago. This was done in parallel, and possibly as a response, to Russian efforts to bring the sides together, which included a call to the Arab League to create a regional umbrella for an initiative.

The procedure used by the American Administrstion in order to move forward we defined few days ago by Mr Jason Greenblat, member of the American Negotiations team. He said that this proceedure includes two components: the improvement of life conditions of the Palestinans, and letting the parties taking their decisions freely. 

The first component falls to the Netanyahu Government Agenda regarding the improving the life conditions as an alternative to ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians. The second component give Netanyahu also the right to decide for further settlement building in the direction of the creation of the Greater Israel. Is this what Mr David Friedman, the American Ambasador, wants when he talked about occupation as "alleged"? Is the "Grand Deal" a kind of talk that aims to give coverage to the growing Israeli move from occupation to the annexation of the Palestinian Territories, occupied in 1967?

The American administration has time till the end of this year to develop a plan for a solution. This plan might not come out, or it might be less than a required two states solution, and therefore is doomed to failure.

Accordingly, it is time for BRICS countires, the EU, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and other global organizations to join forces and to make a one United initiative in the early next year to solve this conflict, rather than just calling to negotiations which lead to no solution in the last 26 years since Madrid 1991 conference.

Walid Salem is Lecturer at Al Quds University- Palestine.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.