JCall thinks that the replacement of the Israeli-Palestinian question at the top of the international agenda through the Palestinian initiative at the UN is a positive thing.
Many people in Israel feared that the initiative would result in a resumption of violence in the West Bank. Thankfully, this has not been the case so far, which seems to show that the Palestinian leaders – as well as the Palestinian people– are determined to reach a resolution of the conflict through diplomatic and peaceful means.
At the UN platform, each leader presented his vision of the history of the conflict and addressed first and foremost his own people.
Although it did not mention the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and likened the occupation to ethnic cleansing or apartheid, President Abbas’ speech clearly reasserted his determination to achieve peace through the creation of two states, based on the 1967 borders and a mutually agreed solution for the refugees.
If, for his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated his commitment to the two-state solution and to an immediate resumption of negotiations, the conditions he still proposes are unacceptable for the Palestinians (the continuation of the settlement policy, Israel’s military presence in the West Bank).
These speeches have once again shown both parties’ inability to resume negotiations on their own.
Considering that the continuation of the status quo would be very dangerous and might degenerate into a new cycle of violence, JCall urges both parties to accept the Quartet’s offer immediately and unconditionally. This offer has the virtue of setting a shortened and restrictive timetable, which is the only way to prevent negotiations from getting bogged down again.
Let’s take the two leaders’ peace declarations at the UN literally and let’s challenge them to try to achieve, with international help, a solution to the conflict based on “two people – two states”. Let’s question the Quartet members, and especially the European Union and its member states, so that they finally display their political will. President Obama’s speech showing that he will not commit any further in the conflict resolution since he’s already committed in the reelection campaign, the European Union has a more important part to play than previously. It would be unfortunate if the Quartet’s agenda remained, like the Road map, in the good intentions package.