Foreign Policy Blogs

Israel & Palestine – In Peace, Everyone Hurts

Do positive opportunities exist because of the upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN? Are our diplomats really trying for peace, or are they adhering to a diplomacy of intransigence? Will the development of a mutually hurting stalemate finally allow for peace between Israel and Palestine? The impending vote to recognize Palestinian statehood has inspired a lot of visceral rhetoric on all sides, and the middle:

  • Israel is threatening dire consequences for Palestine if the vote goes ahead
  • The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is attempting to rally actual Palestinians to support the initiative
  • Ros-Lehtinen, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wants to cut off funding to Palestine and the UN if the vote occurs
  • Rumors suggest that Palestine may avert a threatened US veto in the UN Security Council by solely seeking a vote in the General Assembly
  • Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan is adding fuel to the fire in his constant lambasting of Israel during his tour of the Arab World
  • Former US President Jimmy Carter has thrown his support behind Palestine
  • HAMAS is posturing to capitalize on any Palestinian backlash to the move

Other news also emerged that will either enflame tensions – the PLO Ambassador to the US has asserted that any future state of Palestine would not contain a Jewish minority – or lend some level-headed criticism – PM Erdogan could have set a better example by not adhering to historical chastisement of Israel and drawing more attention to Syria’s abuses.

Minus the last argument, much of the criticism and news is not motivating anyone to provide constructive recommendations. One exception to the spewing of hate is a recent article from Matthew Yglesias of ThinkProgress in which he states

Why not spend the past year seeing this as an opportunity to force the Palestinians to make a clear statement of what borders they’re claiming? Or to try to get the United States to forge a compromise in which we agree not to veto a resolution if the Arab League will agree to finally extend diplomatic recognition to Israel, thus turning the Palestinians into lobbyists for a pro-Israel measure?

As I have seen in my new journey on Twitter, it is quite easy to get angry about topics such as this when people are restricted to 150 characters and assume arguments based solely upon insular, ideological slants (e.g., Max Boot from CFR). What positive developments could we see come of the vote on Palestinian statehood, though? To throw a couple out there, one can also see the vote on Palestinian statehood as one also on Israel: by recognizing Palestine, one inherently recognizes Israel and its equal rite to exist. The political ramifications could be great because many Arab states have served as barriers to Palestinian statehood in the past, also: Arab leaders have loved to have a perennial, contentious issue which they can deflect attention towards. Additionally, it sets the basis for border negotiations and spreads the hurt so that maybe peace will actually have a chance.

Please lend a positive voice to the debate by sharing below your constructive ideas on how the vote could support peace between Israel and Palestine. (Comments that are meant to insult or champion for one side will be deleted).

 

 

Author

Ali A. Riazi
Ali A. Riazi

Ali is an independent advisor on conflict and foreign affairs and an advocate for civilian protection. He has advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense, US military, NGOs, and intelligence oversight staff on topics, such as Afghanistan, civilian protection, irregular warfare, and civil-military affairs. His 13+ years of career experience have spanned humanitarian and national security circles and involved extensive experience throughout the Near East and Central Asia.

Ali earned a BA in Government & Politics (summa cum laude) and a Minor in International Development & Conflict Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, he served as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in International Political Economy. He is currently pursuing an MLitt in Terrorism Studies through the University of St. Andrews.

Ali's other blog interests can be followed at http://www.abeingforitself.com, and he can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ali_riazi.

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