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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Middle East peace plan is on shaky ground in the wake of Netanyahu Reelection

obamaBy Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

News Analysis

Here is how many news organizations, including the mainstream media, describe Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection in Israel: A blow to Barack Obama and his Middle-East peace plan. President Barack Obama, who never had a cordial relationship with the Israeli Prime Minister, was hoping on a Labor victory to gain some energy for the Israeli-Palestinian talk. Now, everything seems chattered as Netanyahu—reelected—openly reneges on his earlier agreement to a two-state solution with the Palestinians. “There will be no Palestinian state under my watch,” he said bombastically to his supporters.

Israel’s rejectionism now moves to the highest gear, even as it puts the Jewish state on what appears to be—at least at the surface—a direct collision course with Washington. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, no Israeli government has never been so openly defiant vis-à-vis Washington foreign diplomacy than that of this current Israeli government. But Netanyahu’s statement should have been received with no surprise. Israel’s obtuse refusal to allow the existence of a Palestinian state has always been an open secret. Netanyahu may be a vulgar statesman who totally disregards an African-American president, but he was speaking the truth.

For years, government after government in the United States took a blind eye on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, while Israeli leaders—both Likud and Labor—have been creating facts on the ground, building settlements on Palestinian lands, flattening Palestinians villages while they talk peace. Their goal is to make it virtually impossible, the creation of a viable country for the Arab population in Palestine.

That’s not all. Benjamin Netanyahu puts his betting on his rightwing Republican allies in Congress to ensure no deal is reached in Switzerland between American diplomats and their Iranian counterparts in the nuclear negotiations currently underway. Netanyahu’s aim is to forestall and ultimately derail Obama’s two-pronged strategy: Securing an accord in principle to achieve an independent Palestinian state while working to reach a deal on nuclear disarmament with Teheran. Netanyahu’s speech during a joint session in Congress earlier this month before a fired-up, rightwing audience totally at odds with the Obama’s initiative is the clearest indication that the Israeli PM will stop at nothing, including exploiting political divisions within the ruling elite in the US to achieve his aim.

Now that Netanyahu has won the election, he is tiptoeing back into the old script. Following a blitz of western criticisms, the Israeli PM is embarking upon a public relations scheme, saying that his statements on the two-state solution were misconstrued, and that he is still committed to this “dream.” Dream? What dream is he talking about? It may very well be a visionary creation of his own imagination, his state of mind marked by abstraction, some childhood blurred reverie, not a true desire to seek peace.    

In every conceivable dance, it takes two to tango. The Palestinians have always been willing to swallow their pride and dance anyway. No honest partner, however, is on sight, and their feelings have been eschewed. But they are not crushed and they are not remaining idle either. They have their own game plan, which can never be executed without a direct confrontation with Netanyahu.  They will go ahead and declare themselves independent and force a trial against Israel in the International Court for crime against humanity, as confirmed by Saeb Erekat, historic Palestinian negotiator who negotiated the Oslo Agreement with Israel, which was later torpedoed by western interests. The future looks bleak.     

Disrespected and even side-stepped, the question is now: What will Obama do to advance peace in the Middle-East?

NoteDr. Ardain Isma is Chief-Editor of CSMS Magazine. He is a novelist. His latest work of fiction, titled Midnight at Noon, is a critically acclaimed and powerful novel that describes horrific tales of raw exploitation in Haiti and what can be done to rescue Haiti from the brink. To order a copy, click here: Midnight at Noon. Dr. Isma is also a scholar who teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at UNF. He can be reached at publisher@csmsmagazine.org Also, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine

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