In his recent article “Push Ahead Now for a Solution in Palestine“, published on March 12th in the Spanish newspaper ‘El Pais’, Javier Solana and Marwan Muasher, offer formulas for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in light of the revolutionary changes in the Arab world.
The authors start from the assumption of the urgent need for the U.S. and Israel to end the conflict, now more than ever, after Egypt and Tunisia have overthrown their dictators and in other Arab countries, their people are clamouring for political change and protest in the streets to move towards true democracy.
The stark reality is that the U.S. has never cared too much that the Maghreb and the Middle East have democratic systems of government, but quite the contrary, the history of US-EU relations with the Maghreb and Gulf countries bear witness to this.
Its primary interests in the region have been above any other, to conquer the markets of oil and raw materials at any cost resulting from its energy needs and expanding and maintaining hegemony in the area without stopping to analyse the state of freedom and the need for equal opportunities for the people of the area.
Its difficulty now in the conquest and control of countries and commodities in Central Asia, by the dominance of Russia and China in the region, centre American and EU energy interests on the Persian Gulf and Maghreb.
In this context, it is understood that the 1st Gulf War in 1991 triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the subsequent intervention with NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq (1993), and finally the uncompromising defence of the main Persian Gulf dictators is understood, whose main partner is the royal dynasty of Saudi Arabia, a country which has 25% of the global oil reserves and the trail of doubt until the last minute to stop the slaughter of his people Gaddafi.
Messrs. Solana and Muasher: Neither Israel nor the U.S. are willing to revise their joint strategy for a peaceful and negotiated solution to Palestine, because both have always colluded so that the occupation and colonisation of Palestine should do not stop and Palestine become the unconfirmed property of the State of Israel.
The Israeli government and an important part of their society are entrenched in the territorial messianic idea that Palestine is theirs by historical and religious right that dates back over 2,000 years, nowadays endorsed by a ruthless regime of occupation, while the sector of the population that thinks we should reach a peace agreement involving the return of the occupied territories to the borders of 1967.
The current state of apartheid decreed by Israel with the besieged Palestinian homelands, ethnic roads, the checkpoints, the separation wall, have led to today immobility, with humiliation and deferment making their lives a living hell.
The separation between the West Bank and Gaza favours the occupier, because it applies conditions of humiliation and imprisonment in their own land, which shows the relentless racist and criminal nationalism of the Israeli government.
So Messrs. Solana and Marwan Muasher: It is not the time to give advice to Israel and the U.S. to react and mitigate their positions by masking their real interests amid fears of the democratic changes in the Arab world including Palestine.
Nor is it the time, Messrs. Solana and Marwan Muasher, of worrying about the bad image that these inseparable allies have, as the only guarantors to resolve the conflict.
Faced with the advancing uprisings in the Arab world, it must be made clear that these movements not only seek the democracy enjoyed by the West, but they will not easily forget the American support to date for Arab dictators nor will they consent for one second longer on the passive forms of the Israeli occupation in Palestine.
It is likely that these movements for freedom in the Arab world end up affecting the religious dictatorship of Hamas in Gaza and the plutocracy of the PA (Palestinian Authority), who will quickly, faced with these movements, decide to bring free elections to the West Bank in September 2011.
Both Hamas and the PA’s fear of democracy has been reflected in the repression exercised in the West Bank and Gaza, whose slogans were “Palestinian democracy and unity against the occupation.”
United States is no longer a valid interlocutor in the Middle East to solve the conflict, as a result of the discredit for its continued support for Israel, to its policy of colonisation and passive consent to the suspension of negotiations.
Not only the democratic West can boost a peace process, it is their duty and must contribute to it with their most outstanding shared intelligence and its organisations committed to peace.
The best Western partners for this process will be the authentic democracies that may emerge in the Middle East, as a result of these changes in the Arab world, including the desire for freedom and democracy of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories.
Messrs. Javier Solana and Marwan Muasher, it is not that the roadmap is obsolete or outdated, but it was doomed from the start, as you well know, Mr. Solana, proof of this is the disastrous management of the Quartet envoy Mr. Blair .
Not only the West will reinvent the Middle East for peace, although many of its civil society organisations can assist in the process of Israeli-Palestinian peace. We do not have to wait 20 more years of fruitless talks, which are merely staged to prolong the conflict indefinitely. We cannot think that solely with the installation of democracy throughout the Middle East the time would have arrived for a free and independent Palestinian State.
When the two-state solution is running out as you said an appropriate policy is no longer to sit the two parties on a bilateral basis with the U.S. as “impartial” mediator.
You know well that when one party does not want to negotiate, but it proclaims the opposite, it just demands, sanctions and the Boycott of the international community as happened in apartheid South Africa.