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The dream for Middle East peace


Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA

An international conference aimed at restarting peace talks in the Middle East was recently held in the French capital, Paris. The meeting focused on the issue of terrorism in Europe and the efforts made by various terrorist groups, especially Daesh, to carry out acts of terrorism in France, Belgium and other European countries. It seems that the West has reached the conclusion that radical measures taken by Israelis are one of the main reasons behind the rise of extremism in the Middle East and those radical measures are now threatening Europe as well. This is why the Foreign Minister of Sweden Margot Wallstrom recently said, “I reject and condemn the stabbing attacks. I think it’s terrible and must not happen, and Israel has the right to defend itself and ensure its security.” “At the same time,” Wallstrom continued, “Israel’s response cannot be – and I say this in other cases as well – one of extrajudicial executions or a disproportionate response…”

Several weeks before that, the Swedish foreign minister had made remarks on the terror attacks in Paris, linking Daesh’s attacks on Paris to “Palestinians’ frustration” and saying that what happened in Paris was reminiscent of the situation in the Middle East and the plight of Palestinians who “see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.” Her remarks infuriated Israel and prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to describe her comments as “a mix of blindness and political stupidity.”

The first point in this regard is that Europe now believes that as long as the issue of Palestine is a problem, nobody should expect security.

Basically speaking, since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 up to the present time, direct talks between the two sides have born no fruit.
The important point is holding international dialogue on the basis of international resolutions that have been so far issued against Israel. Israel has so far refrained from implementing those international resolutions due to the support offered to it by the West, especially the United States.

Another point is that, the Paris agreement put the highest stress on the Arab peace initiative of 2002, which has been already rejected by Netanyahu. Netanyahu has claimed that the only way to correct that initiative is to engage in direct talks with the Arab countries, not Palestinians alone, noting that Arabs should open their arms to Israel. Such a precondition is just an effort to reduce blame on Israel. The current problem is just between Israel and Palestine and has nothing to do with the rest of the Arab world.

On the other hand, the international system takes precedence over individual states. This is true as establishing contacts and relations with any country should be based on its sovereign will and not through imposition. Such a condition shows that Israel does not want this process to get underway in the first place. At the same time, there is no consensus among all Arab countries about establishing relations with Israel. At present, countries like Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia and even Iraq are not willing to have relations with Israel.

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