Jerusalem/Al-Quds: Why the “two-state solution” is not the answer (part II)

On December of 2017 I have written about the need to explore innovative, creative and multi-stakeholder proposals*, and now after Mr. President Donald Trump “peace plan” we need to make it clear once again: this is not “Israel-US-affair” but an international never-end conflict that gets into an inflection point. There are no more excuses for achieving peace and delivers legitimation to an entire vulnerable and civilian population from both sides of the conflict.

For de-escalating the growing hate created by Jerusalem/Al-Quds issue we must change the focus of attention and it should not become capital or city for any of them but a literal interpretation of a “world heritage site” for all of us, belonging to the international community, not to national interests. If we –the international community, regional leaders, etc.- were able to focus only on different aspects of the land distribution, even difficult, it would be slightly better than now that is completely stuck.

The “two-state solution” seems perfectly balanced if we refer to a short term conflict within a strong will to be settled, not to a conflict that its part of the “fabric” of both societies and sadly have created cultural wounds, most of them irreversible and that goes beyond “land´s power” but the integration of both societies towards a long-lasting peace.

Remarks from MR Pres. Trump: “Will deliver a massive commercial investment of 50 billion dollars into the new Palestinian State, over the next 10 years. If executed well, 1 million great new Palestinian jobs will be created” ,“will end the cycle of Palestinian dependency upon charity and foreign aid”.

The rejection from Palestine leaves us the idea that even with a strong will to invest, the boundaries of an endemic conflict prevent them to accept this proposal. Even a good attempt, it has been drafted within Israel-US without contributions from Palestine. Making of this process even more troublesome as they feel –once again- disempowered to decide their fate.

Mr. President Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted: “Israel wants the Palestinian to have a better life, we want them to have a future of national dignity, prosperity and hope” and referred directly to the rejection of 50 billion dollars of investment. Many times we have heard their anger and hate and now these words mark a new era of searching for peace solutions  -even by paying them for it!-. However,  when one side of the conflict is not on the table and instead of listening to them they offer financial support, even a great deal becomes difficult to pacifically accept it.

Mr. President Trump shows a business mentality that it is also something to highlight as for this cumbersome situation a pragmatic focus is most that needed. Suppose a different scenario: some financial offer but with a new deal in which regional leaders, especially coming from the Arab League get involved and the US works more as a catalyzer of the process instead of the main actor. What would be the result? Maybe to get closer to a solution, as the only condition that the US seems to give them is fighting “terrorism”. If there is a clear definition of what we mean by “terrorism” it would be easier to deliver minimum standards of conditions by the Palestinian Government backing by the rest of the regional leaders, even small there is a possibility to get into results. President Trump made it clear: “We will help by empowering the Palestinians to thrive on their own. We have an obligation to humanity to make it done” . When a leader stresses the fact that the population needs to be empowered is not just about delivering foreign aid but to boost growth and serve as a driver that helps start building a new State.

Leaders as Mr. President Hassan Rouhani from Iran* have shown will and skills for Diplomacy and the capacity to “sit and talk” and need to be part of a negotiation process not only in the intellectual debate side Besides, they do represent a key actor for the region and their contributions, more than their rejection, must be taken into account. Is it logical that they do not accept this peace deal as a whole, but it would be very important if the distances get shorter by proposing a fair deal, not much ambitious on demands but enough strong to keep the peace even under uncertainty. It is for humanity reasons indeed, not only for the US but also from the global community to make it happen and settled the confrontation not precisely by their roots, but to minimum standards. Jerusalem/Al-Quds city is an axis of conflict and is for this reason that we suggest exploring the possibility to make it a cultural site, patrimony of humanity and not a fake distribution that will not make any of the sides enough satisfied.

After decades of conflict insisting on a two-state solution for Jerusalem/Al-Quds is it part of a utopian plan without strategically focus, mainly because it becomes a matter of honor not just of a fair new order. Sadly this is war and these are the consequences: distrust, pain, anger, frustration, they are not fighting for peace but the injured honor and the need for vindication. It is for this main reason that foreign Mediation or even condemnation becomes so important to settle the conflict. US peace deal is certainly not the “peace deal of the century” but is an act of Diplomacy for a very challenging and rusty conflict that marks a new era.

Let ´s call the Arab League and the real actors from the Middle East region and makes them realize that we need to put an end, at least for minimum standards to the Israel-Palestine issue. Is the best way to show power if that is the challenge that they face with US intervention. Denial everything without searching solutions is the same position that Mr. Trump holds for climate change action and we know the terrible consequences. It is time to act and to make Diplomacy work. If Jerusalem/Al-Quds capital is the main axis of conflict, let us remove the obstacle and move forward by creating a new status that allows the continuity of the negotiations but from other focus. The financial offer from the US is showing the light that the Palestinian people can start living within prosperity, hope and dignity, with the complicity from President Netanyahu wishing a good future for their enemy and the eventual support for peace talks from the whole international community –particularly the Arab League.

Not a good deal, but certainly an opportunity to bring all actors together into the table. The recent cut of relations from President Abbas with the US and Israel is not only not helpful, but a sign that the path must be building through Diplomacy and creative proposals. Feelings instead of results-driven solutions are reactions from war wounds and not from a pragmatism that is precisely what the Middle East is needed.

Remove the obstacle: Jerusalem/Al-Quds capital

Listen to proposals: new peace deal proposals

Take Diplomacy as the main peace driver: bring Arab leaders to the negotiation table.

Make of “two-state solution” an  “international solution”.Simply…build peace through creative solutions.





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