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Creative ideas for Palestine

Dec 11,2014 - Last updated at Dec 11,2014

Peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians is at a standstill. Reviving the peace process or launching new initiatives to this effect appears entirely futile, since Israel is neither desirous of peace nor willing to even respect or commit to past agreements.

Meanwhile, Israel is making use of this lost time to advance its sinister agendas. It is swallowing more Palestinian land, building more settlements, and inflicting more violence and suffering on the Palestinians.

The latest is a series of chilling murders of civilians, including the cold-blooded killing of a Palestinian minister who was demonstrating against illegal Israeli settlements by planting olive trees. This amounts to a state-sponsored terror campaign whose aim is to drive the Palestinians out of their homeland, a systematic strategy which Israel has used since its very inception.

Arab countries, with the clear exception of Jordan, are busy with their internal bickering and rivalries and have abandoned the Palestinians. The US, despite its support of the principle of statehood for the Palestinians, has failed to bring about anything concrete at this level, and when push comes to shove, it always sides with the Israelis. In fact, its insistence on achieving Palestinian statehood through negotiations is greatly harming the Palestinian cause.

The Europeans have a better stance, especially in some of them recognising Palestinian statehood even outside the framework of negotiations and in boycotting products and companies that are connected with Israeli settlements. However, the major European countries still echo the American position and are unable to do anything substantial separately.

The Palestinian leadership is entirely incapacitated at this point in time, in addition to being divided, of course. And it seems to have run out of any ideas to do anything that is meaningful to help its people.

A new Intifada by the Palestinian people is possible, most probably out of desperation, but it will be costly and no one knows when it will erupt.

In light of this grim picture, what should be done?

The last thing one wants, as prefaced, is talk about resuming the so-called peace talks. This will only serve Israel, enabling it to have more time to confiscate more territory and inflict more suffering on the Palestinians.

There is a need for a fresh move, fresh ideas towards two ends.

The most immediate is to protect the Palestinians from the current mad Israeli terror and genocide campaign and to prevent further swallowing of their territory by Israel. To this end, all occupied Palestinian territories should be placed under some sort of an international mandate and an international protection force.

The details of this can be worked out by the international community, in cooperation with some of the main, trustworthy players in the region.

The second, long-term end is to network internationally to fully recognise the Palestinian state and adopt measures to force Israel to withdraw from all occupied territories, including those on which illegal settlements have been built. In other words, recognition of the Palestinian state should come first.

Such a proposal is neither wishful thinking nor far-fetched.

Already several European governments, the latest being Sweden, and parliaments have recognised it. A lot more could be done with the Europeans who can capitalise on the mounting sympathy with the Palestinian cause in the US to encourage America to change its position.

The Palestinian leadership, coordinating with countries like Jordan which still believe the Palestinian issue is a priority, should make use of the European position and push for change to happen from there.

Naturally, this will take time. But it is a much better investment than the fruitless, harmful “peace talks”.

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