The peace that became a mirage

تم نشره في Sun 4 January / Jan 2015. 02:28 PM

By Ayman Safadi

No surprises in the failure of the draft UN Security Council resolution that demands Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories in two years.

Even if the draft resolution obtained the necessary nine votes for adoption, the US veto would have been on the lookout.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) knew the fate of the draft resolution. But its determination to present it to the Security Council despite the inevitability of its failure carries a clear message that they are done spinning in vicious peace negotiations circles; direct negotiations are like ploughing into the water*, the military option is out of the equation and what remained is the escalation of diplomatic efforts.

This escalation will not end the occupation. However, it will be put Israel before political and legal pressures that they have not faced before. After its failure in the Security Council, the PA signed to join many international organizations, namely the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This means the launch of a legal confrontation that will irk Israeli officials and will prosecute many of them, politicians and military personnel, and hold them accountable before the ICC, which may decide to summon or even detail some under investigation on charges of war crimes.

For that, Israeli reaction and was threating the Palestinians. Israel will work to thwart the Palestinians from joining the ICC and other international organizations, and deploy all its allies who could help.

In addition, Israel would step up its actions against the Palestinians on their own land and take harsh retaliatory steps against them and their leadership in Ramallah.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian leadership is expecting Israel’s reaction. But it seems like it compared between the current situation and the consequences of a diplomatic move to hurt Israel, and reached the conclusion that anything is better than surrendering to the status quo, which is being exploited by Israel to change the facts on the ground, killing any chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the two-state solution.

The consequences of this move is not confined to the punitive measures that will be taken by Israel. It is clear that the United States was angered by resorting to legitimate international organizations to protect the rights of the Palestinians quest, more that is was by Israel’s attempts to bury all efforts to achieve peace.

They were not content with voting against the resolution, but even went so far as to threaten to cut off financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Washington's justifies its position by saying that direct negotiations are the only way to reach a settlement. But this position ignores the fact that twenty years of negotiations did not produce the desired solution, and nothing demonstrates that Israel will change its position of rejecting peace and curbing all efforts to achieve it.

The Palestinians did not go to the Security Council and the ICC except after they felt despair of the possibility to reclaim their rights through direct negotiations that Israel has used to gain time to render the two-state an illusion. The United States know that but insists on the same blocked road. This situation is a reason that adds to the despair of the Palestinians and makes them choose confrontation regardless of its high price.

Palestinians are likely to bring the ball to the Security Council again, but the fate of the next possible attempt will not be better. Even if the draft resolution obtains the nine votes needed in the light of the changing composition of the members of the Security Council and the accession of countries sympathetic with the Palestinians, the US would use the veto.

The scene is dark in all of its details. The new year will be harder on the Palestinians than the previous year, as they face the retaliatory sanctions of Israel and the US. The peace negotiating became a mirage for one reason that the US refuses to see, that is that Israel does not want peace and will not change its position as long as it is able to rely on unconditional US support.

*An Arabic expression that implies the futility of an action.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition