Israel Palestine Peace Treaty
November 14, 2009
By Padmini Arhant
The fate of the two states solution is hanging in balance and the peace process has once again come to a screeching halt. Initially, there appeared to be momentum on both sides until the controversial yet credible issues surfaced and ignored by the parties in default.
The contentious issues are –
Freezing Jewish settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem in its entirety.
Honoring the Gaza report compiled by the Head of the UN Fact Finding Mission, Justice Richard Goldstone, overwhelmingly approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. General Assembly recently.
However, the U.S. House of Representatives proactively rejected the international consensus with a majority vote and condemned the report as biased against Israel. In addition, the House of Congress seemingly solidified their support on this issue by urging the White House to follow suit.
The Congress initiative in this respect is extremely disappointing and unconstitutional as it does not represent the popular view. Furthermore, the humanitarians in Israel confirm that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal approach with the House members on this issue led to the sweeping vote suggesting the U.S. democracy is a puppet to Israeli Knesset.
Preceding these events, the White House reportedly pressured the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon any action at the U.N.General Assembly pertaining to the Gaza war crimes. The Palestinian President’s compliance with the White House requirement had jeopardized his leadership as the head of the democratically elected government. Fearing backlash in the upcoming elections in January 2010, the PLO leader decided not to run for re-election creating confusion and opportunity for all in the fragmented Palestinian politics.
It’s important to shed light on the Goldstone report dismissal by the relevant authorities viz. Israel, the United States, Russia, China and others sharing the burden of disproportionate military engagement and activities in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. Essentially, the deliberate invalidation of the well-balanced and meticulous findings by the honorable justice, Richard Goldstone possessing the background semblance with Israel than Palestine merit hearing and appropriate action in the international court of law.
In the war crime investigations, the authorities in power particularly the permanent U.N. Security Council members are united in the vilification or exoneration of their adversaries and allies for self-absolution. In fact, the protocol renders the process redundant besides displaying the international court of justice as a judicial committee exclusively set up for the U.N. P5 Plus targeted nations against a universal mandate.
The status quo justify the urgency to expand the U.N. Security Council permanent membership enforceable only through the U.N. member nations’ concerted action. Alternatively, defiance by dishonoring the present U.N. Security Council proposals would produce the desired membership extension.
Since, both Israel and Hamas are implicated for the crimes against civilian population, the trial in the international court of law is mandatory and appropriate to begin a new chapter in the twenty first century. War related atrocities, genocides, ethnic cleansing is dominant in the contemporary era setting a dangerous precedence now and in the future. It further exemplifies that the privileged nations with powerful allies are above the law and exempt from heinous crimes against humanity under the guise of national security, a contrived political fallacy.
Other pertinent issue stalling the peace negotiations is the unacceptable acceleration of Jewish settlements in the West Bank claimed by the Israeli authorities as a ‘natural growth,’ neglecting the explicit assault on the intelligence of the international community. Jewish settlements in the clearly demarcated Palestinian territories i.e. the West Bank and East Jerusalem is by far the most explosive and a provocative political maneuver by Israel to prolong the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
No matter, how the Jewish settlements representing the nuclear component in the peace strategy is circumvented, the civilian and armed forces’ indefinite establishment is an infringement on human rights and unequivocally qualifies as an invasion of a foreign land in the eyes of the universal law, if not the U.S. law.
Unless and until the Israeli government recognizes the abominable settlement activity with a unilateral commitment to cease occupation through complete withdrawal of settlers and the military base, the regional conflict will continue to fuel global terrorism predominantly affecting the nations complicit to the colonization.
Although, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet ministers visit to Washington seeking peace talks resumption is a refreshing change in the half a century old crisis, peace mediation premised on Israel’s terms and conditions is analogous to the test drive conducted on a one way street with a dead end.
Earlier this week, Europe commemorated the fall of Berlin Wall marking the twentieth anniversary, a historic moment for the people liberated from the iron fist rule under ‘Communism,’ that caused political oppression and economic depression. Accordingly, the occasion attracted the prominent political figures reminiscent of the post demolition.
Ironically, the world rejoiced the fall of the Berlin wall while being complacent to a similar wall constructed by Israel along the Jerusalem neighborhoods and the West Bank resurrecting the repressive environment.
Indeed, the modern democracies’ pride and prejudice shines through these celebrations.
Interestingly, Israel’s offer to contain the new settlement expansion with the on-going construction permits issued behind the scenes earned a compliment from the U.S. Secretary of State as ‘unprecedented’ gesture that also echoed the Israeli Prime Minister demanding the Palestinian side to refrain from pre-conditions in the peace discussion.
The bone of contention in the embattled Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the irrefutable Jewish settlements, the concrete wall and the systemic abuse of human rights denying freedom, dignity and respect to the Palestinian population correlative to the twentieth century holocaust, a dark age in human civilization.
Tolerating imperialism in the new millennium is nullifying democracy to human beings born to be free like other species in the animal kingdom.
On the Palestinian front, Hamas is benefiting from the political vacuum in Fatah governing the West Bank. The situation is likely to become the worst nightmare for Israel and the United States without Israel’s co-operation in the peace pact.
Given the limited resources and territories, the best hope for the Palestinian people is to unify and present a consolidated political, economic and social agenda through young leadership embracing democratic values, peace over terrorism strengthened by a strong vision and dynamic qualities to build the newly independent Palestine.
As for the core issues in the Israeli-Palestine Peace Treaty:
1. Complete withdrawal of Israeli settlers and the military base from all Palestinian territories including the occupied peripheral lands since 1967.
2. Palestine is to be internationally recognized as a sovereign nation with East Jerusalem as the Capital City for the independent state.
3. The policy depriving Palestinians the right to return to Israel would conversely apply to the Jewish settlers and Israeli citizens on the Palestinian land. Similar reciprocal apply to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence to identify Israel as the ‘Jewish’ state.
4. Palestinian and Arab nation’s reaffirmation of Israel as a sovereign nation in the Middle East along with a solemn oath to disavow violence in the form of suicide bombings, rocket firing and last but not the least any nuclear threats against Israel.
5. Economic aid to Palestine for reconstruction purpose.
6. United States and other economic powers pledge equal assistance to both Israel and Palestine to reflect fairness in the deal.
Finally, it’s imperative and incumbent on the United States to be an honest broker in implementing the Peace Treaty as stated above to restore credibility in resolving international problems.
Palestinian and Israeli children are entitled to a long lasting peace and a bright future. It’s time to set the differences aside and reconcile terms with reality that,
War has no winners whereas everyone is a winner in Peace.