Will the European momentum help take a step towards recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state? – Global issues


  • Opinion by HMGS Palihakkara (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
  • Inter-Press Office

The effort lasted two centuries, but the problem remained unsolved. It became a core issue of peace and security in the Middle East and the world. The so-called rules-based order of the international system, which emerged from the carnage of two world wars, was unable or unwilling to find a reasonable consensus on this issue, as great powers used ‘rules-based justice’ with ‘rules-based justice’ power-based justice’ were juggling. excercise’.

The unresolved conflict thus culminated in horrific violence in Gaza, with Hamas and Israel accused of charges ranging from war crimes to genocide, including the brutal massacre of more than 200 civilians during a hostage crisis last weekend. The heartbreaking tragedy in Gaza is therefore clear, but the opportunity that lies within it is not.

In a not-so-strange irony of war, it was the unprecedented human suffering and devastation in Gaza, and not the political will of the superpowers, that brought the issue of Palestinian statehood back to the fore as a new turning point in peace-building between parties to this conflict.

What is new is that the bold joint step of Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognize the Palestinian state as a precursor to peace and not its aftermath could set in motion a new dynamic.

It has somewhat shaken the US-led conventional Euro-Atlantic attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely that peaceful and secure two states can only emerge at the end of a bilateral peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

The question is: will that attitude now face a restart calling for international recognition of two states – primarily as a means of mediating peace between the two nations. Israeli intransigence and the destruction in Gaza have brought the need for this realignment into sharper focus.

It can generate constructive momentum, especially if more European countries join Norway, Spain and Ireland, plus some 140 other countries around the world. Slovenia has already done that.

It’s obviously not a big snowball – at least not yet – but things are starting to roll. Norwegian Foreign Minister Eide indicated this when he stated at the press conference that if the current double standard continues, it will undermine the ‘rules-based international order’ – a rebuke to their ‘persistent’ Western partners who preach human rights to some and protect them. impunity by others.

These four European countries have taken the first step. Will the United States now reassert its leadership by taking the next ‘giant step’?

After all, it was President John Kennedy who announced the other “giant step” that his great country had taken in the last century, who famously said: “we decide to go to the moon and do other things not because they are easy , but because they are difficult. ”.

This is the 21st century. There is an unprecedented opportunity to follow the European example to recognize the reality of two states and put an end to the eternal war between an iron-domed state, backed by ‘Western power’, and an unhappy and stateless people – the latter is a creation of ‘Western democracies’ themselves. If the US does not seize this opportunity, the opportunists will.

HMG Palihakkara is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, former Ambassador to the United Nations and former Chairman of the UN Israel Practice Committee.

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© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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