Alwaght– For several decades, the Palestinian cause has been the most challenging issue the West Asia region faced. On the one hand stands the Muslim world with its occupied Palestine and on the other hand is the Israeli regime, the occupying force that enjoys the Western support, particularly that of the US.
Finding a solution for the issue by each side of the confrontation can bring about various consequences and conditions. Different American governments in the past decades have supported the idea of solution which called for establishment of Israeli and Palestinian states beside each other. But none of the administrations’ efforts towards this goal yielded any result.
The same initiative has been pursued with greater seriousness in the past few months by the new American administration of President Donald Trump. The American leader, though said he did not necessarily sees two-state solution the only way towards a settlement, has recently been talking about his determination to push both sides to move into a renewed peace process.
On the other side, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-wing leader of the Likud party, has declined to accept the initiative directly, drawing protests by the opposition parties which back a peace deal with the Palestinians to materialize the two-state solution. Hamas movement, a major actor on the Palestinian politics, has recently updated its policy document saying for the first time that it will agree with establishment of a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders.
Grounds and consequences of the plan for the occupied Palestine
The Israeli opposition groups have recently rallied in support of two states solution that were triggered by the regime’s hawkish prime minister’s radical policies. Netanyahu’s opponents at home argue that his policies have deteriorated the situation. Pro-two state solution was encouraged by the Western sides support for the initiative. But Netanyahu’s opposition to the settlement might have its own reasons. The Israeli PM who experienced frayed relations with the former President Obama administration, now sees relations with Trump, who frequently expresses unconditional support for Tel Aviv, at their top levels and so can seek better and more advantageous conditions for an agreement with the Palestinians.
Setting heart on Trump’s all-time and type backing for Tel Aviv, the Israeli PM is optimistic that he can absorb the Palestinian nationality more and more into the body of an Israeli state. That is why he apparently does not back down on his present posture on the initiative. But his opponents regard his clinging on the policy of “two states, one homeland” as a factor contributing to disappearance of the state of Israel in the long run amid growing Palestinian population. They argue that this policy gives further rights to the Palestinians, something objected to by the radical Israelis.
On the Palestinian side, the views to the issue vary, too. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas and ruling over the West Bank, is in favor of the two-state solution. Hamas, a former challenger of the initiative, has recently in its reviewed policy document said that solution under this idea was not impossible. But other Palestinian groups, topped by the Islamic Jihad Movement, have dismissed the plan as an instrument crippling the Palestinian struggle to retake the occupied lands.
It must be taken into account that even the Israeli proponents of the peace with the Palestinians through two-state solution seek an unarmed and restricted Palestinian state, otherwise a Palestinian state, they assert, will pose direct security threats to Tel Aviv. But the sticking point of any agreement and actually the red line of the both sides is the ownership of al-Quds (Jerusalem) that makes it too hard to strike a deal.
Two-state initiative and regional conditions
With regard to Muslim nations’ anti-occupation stance, the Palestinian cause is the top issue of the Muslim world. When it comes to the Muslim and Arab world, the case is beyond the simple Arab nationalism. When it comes to Iran, the Islamic values and the need to support Islamic territories against abuses of the oppressors is the point of focus in relation to the Palestinian cause. The Iraqi and Syrian conflicts as well as rise of terrorist groups such ISIS and the al-Nusra Front overshadowed and marginalized the Palestinian cause, but it was never forgotten. The recent national Syrian and Iraqi armies’ victories against the terrorists have contributed to less intense regional atmosphere, and so a return of focus to the Palestinian issue.
Under these conditions, a couple of points need to be noted. First, the region’s critical conditions have pushed the Israelis and their patrons to see the opportunity ripe for pursuing some of their goals. Second, Iran’s rifts with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries of the region have made the Israeli regime to cease to be viewed as the top enemy of the Arabs. In fact, the Arab leaders now paint Tehran as a major destabilizing force in the region, rather than Tel Aviv. Indeed Arab sheikhdoms’ animosity towards Iran is growing and are moving towards normalization their ties with the Israeli regime. Third, giving the Palestinians part of their rights and making the Arabs owe the Israeli regime for any Israeli-Palestinian peace can push the Arab-Israeli ties to high levels, even to a deep friendship, something serving Tel Aviv’s regional objectives. The struggles for normalization particularly by Riyadh come while now Saudi Arabia’s ostensibly secret relations with the Israeli regime are no longer hidden to anybody.
International drives for two-state solution
Regarding international attitudes on two sate solution a question comes down that who will be recognized a peace champion once the Palestinian crisis is settled? Of course, the US and President Trump. The US president’s emphasis on a serious pursuing of a settlement for the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is encouraged by the current chaotic regional conditions and relocation of focus from the Palestinian people’s plight as a result of the Israeli occupation to the Syria and Iraq conflicts, the barbaric terrorism hitting the region, and the jeopardized regional security.
In the eyes of Trump, accomplishing the hard job of solution and ending the decades-long crisis will make him shine as a diplomatic champion, and thus he will earn further credit. Moreover, removing the Palestinian challenge will raise his popularity among his Israeli friends and pleases the pro-Tel Aviv lobbies in the US. Such a triumph can come to him while he struggles to expand the international anti-ISIS alliance and drag NATO into it. He thinks that solving the Palestinian cause can help Washington restore the lost global trust in its suggested solutions for the West Asia crises. Such a success, additionally, can persuade the dependent Arab leaders that the US still holds the key to solutions for the regional problems.
All in all, with the opposition to two-state settlement inside the Israeli regime in addition to the regional and international challenges ahead, accomplishing this job, in case of feasibility, will take a long time.