The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not descriptive of a catalytic event but a chronic conflict that has persisted for more than half a century. The military and political ramifications of the conflict in Palestine and the Arab world are nothing but huge (Barsalou 2003; Bregman & El-Tahiri 1998). For years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has trudged on dotted with what has currently been accepted as twists and turns of small successes and persistent failure of the peace process at large.
The underlying issues are as broad as the range of interventions that can be used to solve them but the political will to enforce recommendations has been lacking ever since Israel self declared its independence and Palestine in collaboration with the Arab world declared war on the Israeli state. However, the complexity of the eventualities that led to the collapse of the peace process can not forever prevent the success of any future interventions so long as key issues are straightened out.
As the peace process remains stalled, any future intervention will have to desist from pushing partial agreements and instead advocate for a comprehensive and sustainable7 final status agreement. There is need to avoid sequenced confidence building strategies that had been prevalent with the past peace process negotiations. This is crucial to prevent the peace process from becoming a hostage to security.
Instead both parties in the negotiation table should be encouraged to adopt a strategy that promotes a mutual and comprehensive ceasefire by both the Israelis and the Palestinians (Brown2009). The Israeli government should freeze all construction developments in occupied territories because these settlements are in contravention of international law. Abidance to such preliminary conditions is critical in driving the negotiations to sustainable resolution of underlying issues and subsequently the charting out of a final status document that is agreeable for all the negotiating parties.
As the international community; the United States included, continues to provide support towards the democratization and the creation of the Palestinian state, it should be understood that such sovereignty cannot be achieved under conditions akin to military occupation, thus the ceasefires. It is a fact that with America spearheading the peace process, Palestinians and the Arab world will never believe in the impartiality of the mediator. Thus, if America is to continue being the mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the United States must restore its credibility as an impartial and honest broker by adopting an even handed role.
The nature of America’s Middle East foreign policies is a slap in the face of their supposed stance of impartiality. The military and economic cooperation with the Israelis will only serve to advance the understanding that America can only drive the negotiation to endpoints that are in congruence with its own interests and values such as the advancement of democracy and equal rights. Such positions even if unbiased in America’s perspective may not be in congruence with the desires of the Palestinian populace (Avineri 2001; Baddar 2007; Carpenter 2008).
The failure of the United States to exert considerable pressure on Israel on important concessions of the peace process negotiations remain a great stumbling block to the realization of sustainable peace. As opposed to earlier formulations of the peace process, a sustainable peace process should allow the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to be driven by principles of international law. This would mark a paradigm shift from the current status quo. Basing the peace negotiations on international law ensures the neutrality of mediation.
Moreover, under international law, Israel will have to stop settlements in territories that are not recognized under international law as well as improving on the definition and clarity of negotiations based on neutrality. Additionally, such a shift would make the negotiations and the final resolution of the conflict acceptable to the international community. Only international law can level the playing field in the peace process negotiations. If such a strategy is used the final resolution will not only be reflection of justice but also ensure that the fundamental rights of the Palestinians are respected.
If negotiations proceed as per the current status quo, the final resolutions that are not in congruence to international law may not be easy to implement. The international community and especially the United Nations should be involved in the pursuit of novel approaches of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Daalder et al 2006). This call is not only urgent but late in coming. The failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace processes has been partly attributable to the insistence of keeping out the United Nation in the peace negotiations.
The specially scripted negotiations such as the Oslo Process and even the RoadMap to peace by various mediatory parties have only led to persistent stagnation and hopelessness among the Palestinians (Greenstein 2003; Rubenberg 2003). It is only in the best interest of the international community that the United Nations steps in to give the Palestinians hope and steer the peace process to sustainability. Finally, it should not be lot on all negotiating parties that any strategy should conclusively address and resolve the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In essence, the sidestepping of the real causative issues in the conflict has been at the core of the failures of the peace process. Infact, the conflict only arose when the native Palestinians were dispossessed of their land during the establishment of the State of Israel. Moreover, when it comes to the question of the Palestinian refugees, Israel has consistently refused to make an alteration on its position preferring instead to disregard the existence of legitimate rights of these populations. The important of the centrality of the refugee question based on international law is thus critical in future negotiations.
In conclusion, the Palestinians must, as a matter of criticality in the peace process, accept the existence of Israel as a state because failure to accept that single historical eventuality will automatically stagnate the peace process. So long as the ideals of liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation coupled to the complex desires of the Muslim fundamentalists are supremely put to the fore in the negotiation process, Israel will undoubtedly maintain its hard-line stance on the need to protect its citizens from external extremist attacks and consequently continue to create a buffer zone between Israel and Palestine.
The political instability of Palestine is also a detriment to the pursuit of lasting peace. Palestine must strive to create a stable government that is not only representative of the entire Palestinian populace but also possess the full political and military authority to upkeep the recommendations of the peace process. In this stride, the international community should help Palestinians through interventions that are acceptable to the world at large because the ongoing extremism, fundamentalism and resultant political instability is not beneficial to pursuit of global peace and security.
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