Arabische Friedens-Initiative: Das Ende des Konflikts

Conventional discourse surrounding the Arab-Israel conflict, if one may even refer to it as a „conflict“, talks about a resolution based on the premise of two states as though it were just within our reach. As though any resolution–no matter the final shape or status of such a state–is better than no state or resolution at all. The Arab Peace Initiative is no different…

Laila el-Haddad
[DEUTSCH]

First of all, we should call it as it is: not a „conflict“, but Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, accompanied with the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of refugees and the denial of their and their descendants‘ right to return to their native homes, the continued incarceration of over 10,000 political prisoners, and ongoing violent colonization of Palestinian land.

To paraphrase former US Ambassador Edward Peck, there is no „conflict“ to speak of here–there is an illegal occupation. And in line with this, a „peace process“ implies a state of war, which itself implies two symmetric parties at odds with one another, in need of reconciliation. Rather, there is an illegal occupation, and its resolution is simple: demand it be ended. As Frederick Douglass reminded us, „power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.“

The Arab states need to radically re-think the kind of „peace agreement“ they endorse and will enter into in light of the tectonic changes in the Arab world, the crumbling of Pax Americana and the „repressive but stable“ Arab regime, and new revelations about the collusive dealings of these regimes by way of Wikileaks and the Palestine Papers.

It is no longer sufficient to simply endorse an initiative modeled on those fruitless and failed processes of the past and present and expect this will be enough. Because even if the Arab regimes think it is, the Arab people will not.

They should not make the mistake of entering into an agreement with Israel without securing an end to the Israeli occupation first and Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state–something of which the Oslo accords make not a single mention, and that is not endorsed in the governing Likud Party’s charter, which „flatly rejects“ its establishment. They should also not be bartering away other people’s enshrined rights–such as the Palestinian right of return. And they should certainly not be offering concessions without getting any in return.

If we are to take anything away from the Palestine Papers released by al-Jazeera, it is these lessons. Palestinian negotiators were all too willing to provide concessions to Israel–concessions they had no right to offer in the first place. In return for their capitulation, they received only Israeli intransigence, a further hardening of the Israeli position, increase in land theft and colonization and consistent sabotage of the process.

The lesson to be learned is that Israel was never interested in a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians, only one that would serve to further strengthen Israeli control over the land without the people, forever forestalling viable Palestinian statehood. It was former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s advisor, Dov Weisglass, who referred to the disengagement as a process intended to achieve just that: „The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that’s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.“

The Arab Peace Initiative only further enforces the myth that there has been an active and ongoing peace process to start with–that Oslo and all its tributaries are ultimately leading to a just and lasting peace of equals, viable and contiguous Palestinian statehood and sovereignty, freedom, equality, and statehood.

It is time for the Arab states to think outside the two-state land-for-peace box and wake up to this reality. It is now time to begin to seriously consider endorsing a solution of one country with equal rights for all: a one-state solution. Given the realities on the ground in the West Bank–where Israel’s annexation barrier and illegal settlements and seam lines swallow nearly half of Palestinian land, Israel is determined to maintain a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and elsewhere throughout the land, no matter the cost (see: ethnic cleansing), and it intends to postpone viable Palestinian statehood indefinitely–this is the only solution that can achieve a just, feasible, and lasting peace.-Published 3/3/2011 © bitterlemons-api.org

Laila el-Haddad is author of „Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between“. She is also a contributing author to „The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict“.

2 Kommentare zu “Arabische Friedens-Initiative: Das Ende des Konflikts

  1. The underlying assumption of above propaganda is always that the major obstacle to peace is Israel.
    Since the talks between Arafat and Barak collapsed, a decade ago, mainstream public opinion in Israel has become a paradox: majority support for the idea of a two-state solution, but a generalized distrust of Palestinian intentions. Middle Israel feels that it left Lebanon, in 2000, and got rockets from Hezbollah; left Gaza, in 2005, and got rockets from Hamas. The peace camp, despite occasional demonstrations and displays of vitality, is depleted.
    What is overlooked in this propaganda?
    The steep rise in Palestinian terror from September 1993 and the beginning of the Oslo process, so that in each of the years 1994, 1995, and 1996 there was more terror than in any previous year of the conflict since 1948.Then there was the offer by an Israeli prime minster of ceding all of Gaza and at least 89% of the West Bank, along with division of Jerusalem, so as to enable the Palestinians to have a sovereign state with no Jews in it. The Palestinians responded to that one by launching the 2nd Intifada. There was the one about how Israel built a defensive fence that proved its value in saved lives but also drew a line on the ground that Israel was willing to retreat to even without peace, which cause the Palestinians to launch their “apartheid wall” lie. There was the time Israel moved out of southern Lebanon in return for a promise from the international community as expressed by the UN Security Council that Hizballah wouldn’t be allowed to re-arm. That didn’t work so well, did it. And so on.
    The reason a very large majority of the Israeli electorate has given up on any chance for peace with the Palestinians is that the Palestinians and their supporters have been working long and hard to convince us there’s no peace to be had.
    There won’t be peace because the Palestinian’s national aspiration isn’t to have a small state divided into two sections alongside a larger Israel, thus in effect affirming the historical victory of Zionism. The Palestinian national aspiration is to roll back Zionism, to rectify its injustice as they define it, and to have their state on the entirety of their land. Not to mention the aspirations of hundreds of millions of Muslims beyond the Palestinians, who are also an irremovable part of the equation.
    The really pernicious thing about the position that Israel is the prime culprit for the lack of peace is that it re-affirms the fundamental position of the Palestinians and apparently most Arabs. This is that Zionism is a crime against the Arabs and against the Palestinians. Zionism was a crime in 1897, it was a crime in 1917, it was a crime in 1947, and in 1967, and remains a crime till this very day. I don’t know if this is now the official policy of hagalil. It it is they should say so: the Israelis are the reason there’s no peace but the reality is that the message they’re sending to the Palestinians is that Zionism remains the culprit, the criminal, the aggressor who caused the entire conflict by being so cruel to the victimized Palestinians.

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