Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Any Solution, is a Good Solution | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Palestinian boy dressed as Santa Claus holds a Palestinian flag as he stands in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem. Ammar Awad/Reuters

A sense of hope reignited now that U.S. President Donald Trump has assigned his son-in-law- Jared Kushner to manage the Palestinian-Israeli conflict file, but so far this is an illusion. There will be no solution if there is no change on ground.

There should be Palestinian unity to prevent the peace project from becoming a ball tossed around. When Palestinian consensus is achieved, there will be an Arab position to support it.

This doesn’t mean that an Arab-Palestinian agreement is enough for mediators to promote the now-impossible solutions – realism is necessary for success.

The truth is that any proposed solution would revive the cause which seems to have lost its brain functions.

Will there be two independent states or one hybrid state? Federalism affiliated with Jordan or a confederate of three states: Israel, Palestine’s Bank, and Palestine’s Gaza? Or will it be a state with a unified centralized system or multiple systems?

What matters is a solution that would put an end to Palestinian’s tragedy, the longest in modern history.

Israel is very delighted to neglect, postpone, create conflicts between Gaza and the West Bank, and occupy people with tiny details for time to pass by as Israeli settlements grow further over Palestinian territories.

At the same time, frustration grows among Palestinians as they see the world around them burn in civil wars thinking their cause is now at the end of the list.

Any solution is an accepted solution, whereas a no-solution is what best serves the Israeli benefits.

The problem is not in Tel Aviv alone, but rather the continuous political failure of Palestinian leadership, which is preoccupied with its own disputes and don-quixotic war.

The Palestinian president’s office is currently focused on how to prevent Mohammed Dahlan from running for elections, and casting him aside if possible.

In addition, all what the second Palestinian authority in Gaza cares about is how to prevent leaders outside Gaza from competing with it and how Ramallah’s government would share budget and jurisdictions without conceding its powers and without engaging in elections it doesn’t supervise.

Actually, all three rivals do not want Palestinian elections whether in the West Bank, Gaza or Israel, since no one wants to lose anything.

Palestinians fighting for influence and jurisdictions today will leave tomorrow and will only pass their people the tragedy they inherited from their precedents.

Israel doesn’t want anyone to do anything as the status quo suits it with impeding the formation of a state, denying the authority most of its jurisdiction, continuing to confiscate Palestinian lands and granting it to Jew settlers, minimizing development projects, resuming the policy of detentions and checkpoints, and continuing with racial segregation.

All of these are pressure methods until Israel is ruling all over the Palestinian soil.

The Israeli project is the same old one since 1967. But what we can’t fathom is the incompetence of Palestinian authority to rise above personal conflicts and take responsibility towards its people.

The authority, its partners and disputes are not good examples, so, no one in the world would care to offer them political support.

Former failed initiatives became an issue that also hampers suggestions of new political projects.

The hope President Trump gave cannot be depended on since the problem lies among rivals and not the mediator. It is unlikely that a solution would suddenly drop from the sky – given the circumstances the region is passing through.

The problem is also not in lack of ideas; there are many suggestions.

Someone suggested placing the West Bank under Jordan’s administration but Jordan rejected this considering it a sectarian project.

Another solution proposed is to limit the Palestinian state to the West Bank while placing Gaza under Egypt’s administration which was also refused, thus sharing Jordan’s point of view.

Someone recommended developing the Palestinian administration only, as the current status has been based on the Oslo Agreement 23 years ago. The new suggestion will include expanding the jurisdictions of the administrative authority, something like Iraq’s Kurdistan.

While some would like to revive former U.S President Bill Clinton’s initiative to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state on all of the occupied territories and build a safe passage that links West Bank with Gaza.

There are so many ideas, but never a serious intention for a solution. Israel is giving the illusion that it isn’t obliged to accept any solution and considers the current situation very comfortable, even if it was a ticking bomb.

The region is undergoing tremendously difficult circumstances that make the government want to ensure its own safety.

These conditions prompted the suggestion that the Palestinian leaders should bring their disputes to an end and try working together in a manner that gives hope that there is something to rely on.