•What the Arab League, allies must do
By Ishola Balogun
The increased instability in Yemen, Syria and Libya underscores a need for a more realistic solution path to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one that is far from the United States President Donald Trump’s peace plan tagged “Deal of the century.”
The plan which was handed down by the US last month has received knocks from all corners of the globe.
Some have termed it “shameful deal,” others likened it to a “Swiss Cheese.” The essential part of the deal according to report was that “there shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the state of Israel.”
According to Trump’s plan, Israel annexes over a third of the West Bank including all illegal settlements and gets complete security control over a Swiss cheese Palestinian “state” with no sovereignty, no contiguity, and no control over its borders; Israel gets all of Jerusalem, including the holy places; Palestinian refugees are denied return, not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian “state” unless Israel approves, so most will be forced to remain where they are; and every other wish of the Israeli hard right is fulfilled.
According to many who spoke on this disreputable plan, it is dead on arrival.
Mr Trump has never concealed his biases towards the Isrealis cause while also showing blatant hostility to rights of Palestines.
In 2017 US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the relocation of the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The decision was condemned by leaders across the world particularly the Arab league and its allies.
Recall that Mr Trump also closed the PLO mission in Washington and recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which were seized from Syria in the 1967 war. The United States also convened an extraordinary meeting in the Gulf State of Bahrain offering $50billion investment plan, but it also failed as the Palestinian reiterated that their land was not for sale.
The truth is that since 1946, the United Nations have also tried all possible means but could not see the light of the day.
About 700 United Nations General Assembly resolutions and over 100 United Nations Security Council resolutions in connection with the conflict never yielded any result.
This is partly because most of the resolutions were believed to have been dictated by the United States. Again, there were little or no inputs and considerations from Palestine.
A viable peace process must have the inputs and consideration of the feuding parties, where they will both shift their grounds and agree on the compromises to be made for lasting peace.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected US President Donald Trump’s peace plan during a meeting of the UN Security Council, but withheld a resolution urging the UN’s rejection of it.
Abbas while addressing the Security Council, said Trump’s plan “violates UN resolutions” and annuls the Palestinians’ right to self-determination while legitimizing illegal Israeli settlements and the illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian land.
The Palestinian leader held up a map of the US proposal for a fragmented Palestinian state and said: “It’s like a Swiss cheese really.”
In fact, most people believe as the Trump’s undoing act on the path to peace was the destruction of the international consensus on finding lasting peace which was to create a viable Palestine state alongside the Isreali state – thus giving equal rights to both parties when he assumed office as President of United States.
That was more realistic than what we have today in the disreputable deal. The holy Quran emphasized on justice as a means to peace. Any peace plan devoid of justice will always be an exercise in futility.
A realistic peace proposal requires the State of Israel to make a significant territorial compromise that will enable the Palestinians to have a viable state, respect their dignity and address their legitimate national aspirations.
The Arab League and their allies
The disturbing trend form me is the inaction of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, IOC and of course the European Union, EU.
These remain only the consistent allies in pursuant of the Palestine’s freedom. But have we seen any action from them in-terms of coming up with fair and realistic approach to the whole saga? The answer is No! When Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved his country’s embassy there, what did they do other than condemnation on the media?
Most of them only make occasional statements to massage what is left on the ego of Palestine, condemning the occupation of Palestine’s territories by Israel and its allies. A case in point was the recent meeting of the Arab League in Cairo and the OIC summit in Jeddah respectively, the promises made at the two events were not different from promises and verbal statements from the past. What is lacking is tangible action using all means at their disposal. This will not only set the path to lasting solution but will also put the organisations in good estimation as regards the Palestine issue.
The humiliation and subjugation of Palestine have gone for too long, the Arab League and IOC must move further from mere rejection of Trump’s deal and lunch themselves into action. If really they are desirous of freedom for the 60 million Palestinians, then they must provide alternative path to follow, they must show the real strategies to adopt for lasting peace, they must also be ready to jettison the economic and political leverage they enjoy in Washington and tackle the US with ideas and strategies. They must ensure Palestine rise on its feet again.