Let's revive peace from New York

Khalid Dalal
Khalid Dalal (Photo: Jordan News)
There is a golden opportunity for US President Joe Biden to translate his words into deeds regarding the two-state solution as the only way to resolve the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as the UN General Assembly's 76th session kicks off in New York mid-September.اضافة اعلان

Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine took a commendable step when their leaders held a summit in Cairo earlier this month, in preparation for the global gathering. At the summit’s conclusion, they reminded the world of their constants regarding the Palestinian cause, as international actors were preoccupied with other issues, such as the situation in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the US withdrawal. It is apparent that the three partners are set to rekindle the international community's interest in the Mideast conflict, and the pursuit of peace based on the two-state solution as the only way to end the world’s only occupation.

Cairo was also the venue for another important meeting, when foreign ministers of the Arab League’s member states gathered for the 156th ordinary session, boosting the momentum of joint Arab action ahead of the UN meeting.

The Arab position on the issue was summed up by Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi, who stressed in his remarks at the pan-Arab meeting that "the absence of a solution to the Palestinian cause on the bases that meet the legitimate rights of the Palestinians is the root cause of tension and conflict in the Middle East." He also stressed that the two-state solution remains the only way to attain real peace, and that is what Jordan will keep exerting all efforts to achieve.

Hopefully things are different this year. With a US administration that believes in the two-state solution, and supported by the EU and other powers, including Russia and China, the UN General Assembly's meeting poses as a real chance that Washington should seize to arrange for meetings involving all parties to the conflict as well as regional and international peace partners. The goal of such a series of meetings should, hopefully, be to build towards the first steps in a trust-building process. These may include, in addition to others, the reopening of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington DC, and the US consulate in Jerusalem. The next step, which should be taken without delay, is the launch of peace negotiations.

After all, the most serious threat to peace in the region is to allow the status quo to persist, and to be satisfied with interventions to bring about a ceasefire here and a truce there without addressing the core of the conflict: The Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Such mini-moves are just pain killers, while the disease continues uncured.

With no peace, Israeli will manipulate the situation as always and continue its unilateral actions and same-old policies to alter reality and gain more ground with every passing day, including settlement activities and continued offensives and breaches of peace treaties and international law.

Arab actors and all peace-loving countries should take advantage of the fact that the US now is in a position to bring an end to Palestinian misery through concerted efforts, demonstrating a unified global position in support of a just and lasting peace, guaranteeing the full rights of the Palestinian people.

There is no time to waste. Israel has to start listening to the voice of reason and realize that enough is enough. Biden's administration is the best messenger to convey this message to Tel Aviv, which will not be happy, of course, but will eventually acquiesce if the message is strong enough. History teaches us that.

The UN meetings in New York present a valuable opportunity that should not be missed, and the ball is now in the US’ court.

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