TERMS OF DISENGAGEMENT: POSSIBLE AVENUES OF DE-ESCALATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
As I approach the end of this series, the situation between Israel and Palestine has gone from bad to ugly. The constant air raids by the Israeli forces and the Hamas launching missile attacks on Israeli territory has only made the matter more contentious than ever before. The situation seems bleak and the solution, bleaker. Yet the question in all our minds still rings loud: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Categorically speaking if all territorial fighting could be solved with peace signs and Instagram posts, the world would be a better place. Unfortunately, it isn't so. When it comes to difficult diplomatic and strategic territorial disputes as contentious as this, the solution is often far-fetched and most times unyielding. So what are these tangible solutions that could work to find some solace within the region?
THE ONE-STATE STATE SOLUTION
The one-state state solution is highly contented wherein there would exist one single state holding power over the regions of Israel and Palestine. This is much favoured by large chunks of the right-wing politburo of the Israeli government. This is hardly feasible as a solution and would require the Palestinian government to make great sacrifices that would be highly unlikely. Besides, the umbrella of one national head and two national identities are the recipes for further conflict than resolution. Yet this option still lies on the table if the expansionist tendencies and the violence continues.
THE INEVITABLE STATUS QUO
In what is seen as the likelihood of all options, the status quo would simply mean more of this form of discord. The period of calm and coupled with low-intensity conflict and recurring spikes of violence. This would do more harm in the long run as it would simply slowly bleed the wounds of the dissent and create a flashpoint of irrevocable conflict gravely eroding political and negotiable options.
THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
This is the ideal solution in many ways. The division of Israel and Palestine into respective majority nations with the sovereignty of rule and legitimacy of governance. This is highly favoured among the political arena and the general population. Yet again the question would arise as to who would decide the borders? What happens to the city of Jerusalem which is a holy place for Jews and Muslims alike? There is no tangible solution provided as yet on how to handle the situation of the Palestinian refugees and the West Bank settlers?
THE INTERVENTION GAMES
It is no surprise that the West has some choice words of wisdom on the matter of division of power and the value of the solution in the matter between Israel and Palestine. The UN has been persistent in its attempt to rekindle the cause of negotiations at all levels, the Secretary-General has reiterated the value of the peaceful culmination of the violence and human cost in this dispute. Yet the Palestinian side does not trust the West to provide a reasonable solution to the matter and claims that the West would most likely devise a plan that is favourable to Israel and their vested interest. This fear is not unfounded as it is the arrogance and frivolity of the West that has led to the plethora of conflicts in the region and the Middle East in its entirety in the first place.
Other options such as the creation of a confederation such as the European Union could be considered but this would mean that the Palestinians would have to forego a lot of their territorial sovereignty in the process.
Though these are all valuable insights into escalating the situation, it can only come to fruition if either party are willing to talk. The Israeli government should cease its settler colonisation activities, the Palestinian authorities must cease their share of violence and agree to negotiate terms of shared or accommodated powers. Even if they do manage to come to sit at the table, agreeing is not going to be easy considering the extent of the violence and decades of cumulative discord. The need to move from escalation, segregation and derisive tactics of annexation must be kept aside and an open-ended negotiation of terms of territorial management is imperative. This form of punctuated violence and constant conflict will in no way serve the overall interest of either nation and would only lead to its eventual demise.