The situation in Palestine is getting worse by the day. The Israelis are putting up more and more heavily fortified housing colonies in strategic occupied sites that dominate the entire region, and any dream of a two-state solution under which Israel and Palestine will recognise each other as equals is fading rapidly into irrelevance. Israel’s occupying forces are making a mockery of the long established framework that manages Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim holy sites in Al Haram Al Sharif in Occupied Jerusalem.
In addition, the Arab League is right to denounce Israel’s racist and rightwing parliament for backing the plan of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to insist that Israel is recognised as a Jewish state, which will have a dire effect on the many Arabs living in Israel as Israeli citizens, and destroy any hope for peace on the West Bank as supporters of Greater Israel seem to be defining Israeli policy.
Therefore at this desperate moment, the Arab League’s foreign ministers were right when they met in Cairo on Saturday to formally submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council calling for the establishment of Palestine as a state within a specific timeframe. The Arab League will look for international backing for its resolution, and it will start with those European states that have recently voted on Palestine such as Sweden and the UK; and Spain, Ireland and France which have called for symbolic votes on the measure.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may be discredited as a president, having past the end of his term and by continuing to govern by decree, but he is absolutely right when he said in Cairo that “the current situation in the Palestinian territories cannot continue. There is no longer a partner for us in Israel, and there is nothing for us but to internationalise the issue”. The Palestinians need to move ahead with their government of unity and hold new elections, but that is no reason not to back them completely when they seek the respect of the world by taking their place in the United Nations as an fully independent nation.