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If the two-state solution is dead, what is next?

Aug 10,2020 - Last updated at Aug 10,2020

In what can only be called an extreme shift in US foreign policy, President Donald Trump seems to have moved from decades-old approach to the Palestinian cause, offering Israelis and Arab Palestinians another concept (one state) without defining what this new notion actually brings with it and whether it is actually realistic or not!

Is it going to be a state in which Israelis and the Arab Palestinians live side-by-side together as citizens of one state, or one where Israel keeps domination over the West Bank and its Arab people as second-class citizens? No, US president has ever suggested a solution for the decades-old conflict or such a choice without recognising what comes after. Annexation of the West Bank will be a lousier choice for this matter!

However, President Trump’s idea, in as far as we can see, emphasises the need for new avenues of peacemaking, an indication pointing to a regional approach that involves the neighbouring Arab states in his attempt to reach a final peace solution.

The two-state solution, in my view, has been more of a wishful illusion than a realistic concept even though it seems to have received some support by a few Arab world countries, the international community and the Arab Palestinians, based on the separation through negotiations into some kind of “semi-sovereign” Palestinian state. 

As early as 2002, however, the Arab world offered up a Peace Initiative, which in fact provided recognition to Israel. However, the catch to this political approach was sore “concessions” from Israel, including a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

Albeit, in a conflict where sovereignty, religious identity and an on-going struggle to keep holy sites unreciprocated, let us not be surprised if we fail to have a “deal” without addressing these questions. There is nothing positive in such a line of thought.

From a historical standpoint, every UN resolution, since the formation of this conflict, recognises, without doubt, the rights of the Palestinians to a future of peace, stateliness and solemnity, which certainly are the only possible path to a comprehensive, just and ever-lasting peace.

The admonishing question(s) in this regard remain(s): For how long would a city holy to a little more than half of the world’s people, such as Jerusalem, keep facing dangers together with its multipath heritage and identity? In addition, for how long can the international community accept a status quo of a decades-old, continuing political, religious and human calamity? Palestinians have been put out of place for decades and, even worse, their national and political identity has always been denied. 

It is about time the international and global community does its utmost to oppose all attempts to change the Holy City’s Muslim and Arab Christian character, and face the challenges of peace and stability threats, in a region where many people are denied the promise of affluence and prosperity, and where war continues to intimidate and prevent them from living safely and peacefully. For a world without peace is a world without harmony, without reconciliation and goodwill and tranquility and serenity and hope! 

The decades-old denial of an independent, viable and peaceful Palestinian state, that does not recognise the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to a life of peace and armistice, based on international law and a two-state settlement, is a sure path to a long-lasting conflict in the entire region that would cripple any attempt towards an indestructible peace that can survive.

For a certainty, in the end, the civilised world cannot address common global crises, unless our efforts worldwide are united and put together to reach factual and tangible peace and affluence. The alternative that can develop out of the absence of a fair, non-discriminatory, unbiased two-state settlement, the sad reality is, would be chaos, disorder, confusion, commotion, turmoil and mess.

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