Opinion: For just cause of Palestine

Written By: Jyotika Teckchandani
New Delhi Published: Jun 03, 2021, 06:47 PM(IST)

Israel and Palestine's flags (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Most of the analysts throughout the world have examined this latest violence in terms of condemning both Hamas and Israel. The latter in particular, was criticised for what was perceived as disproportionate military action

In May 2021, during holy month of Ramzan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict flared up again and resulted in huge loss of life, property, infrastructure in Gaza and Israel. Authorities in Gaza estimate that worth tens of millions of dollars worth of damage occurred. The United Nations estimates that more than 72,000 Palestinians were displaced by the fighting. Hamas and Israel agreed on a ceasefire on May 21.

Most of the analysts throughout the world have examined this episode in terms of condemning both Hamas and Israel. The latter in particular, was criticised for what was perceived as disproportionate military action. This disproportionate action by the Israeli state is not new. What is important here is to underline and understand the political message by the Israeli state which it intends to convey through disproportionate action. In the present context it may have been linked to the domestic politics of Israel wherein such retribution against Palestinians was intended to increase the longevity of the political life of the Netanyahu government.

However, far more important factor behind this military adventurism was Israel testing the strength of Abraham Accords signed with UAE and Bahrain.

It also intended to check its growing relationship with Saudi Arabia. Israeli government has initiated informal discussions with Saudi Arabia which are aimed at normalisation of the political relationship between the two countries.

It may be recalled here that earlier, the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacre, Lebanese massacre (1982) tested the peace and friendship treaty between Israel and Egypt (1979)

This time it appeared that the state of Israel became internationally isolated and drew flak from most world leaders and it appeared that there was genuine global sympathy for suffering Palestinians.

This explains why United Nations Human Rights Commission has decided to establish a permanent committee, Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegation of human rights abuses and war crimes in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

However, larger question is still about whether there ever be a 'two-state solution' in the region leading to creation of viable state of Palestine and whether the cycle of violence will end.

It is strange and highly disappointing that global policymakers are looking at the Palestinian issue only from the humanitarian perspective, offering economic and other kinds of support as confirmed by visit of EU envoy Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, on 1st June, 2021  to Gaza City for the first time since the ceasefire agreement with Israel. While visiting Gaza, he made a commitment for the reconstruction of parts of Gaza and said, “The reconstruction of Gaza needs several steps, including a unified Palestinian government and the lifting of the 15-year-old Israeli blockade.”

Earlier US President Joe Biden, the liberal icon of the world, made a similar commitment towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of devastated Gaza. He said that he would work through the UN and other international stakeholders “to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people in Gaza and in the Gaza reconstruction efforts"

Such measures are welcome and badly needed but the question remains whether they are sufficient to create permanent peace among Palestine and Israel because while these helping hands are important, they have only reconfirmed the 2nd November, 1917 Balfour Declaration.

It may be recalled here that the Balfour Declaration has made a commitment for the creation of homeland for Jewish people in Palestine while maintaining the social and religious rights of Palestinians.

Since then the Palestinian problem has been projected as a humanitarian crisis which has also been incorporated in the UN Resolution of 242 and 338. Such an approach of international community has traditionally benefitted the Israeli state as it does not uphold the political rights of Palestinians to have their own nation and state.

The time has come for world leaders to provide a political solution by supporting the idea of two nation-states. It is true that Israel is too strong as a state and capable of defending itself, while Arab world is too weak at the moment and Palestinians are increasingly reduced to a defenceless community.

Therefore, neither Palestinians nor the Arab world is in a position to bargain with Israel, thus it is important for India, the emerging global power to become the beacon of hope and courage and trailblaze this noble cause along with other international bodies like United Nations which can help in the creation of Palestinian state.

As humanity is entering a new phase of globalization in the 21st century it is important that this only BLACK DOT from the earth should be removed.

This requires that the major nations of the world Like USA, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, European Union should rise above their narrow national interest and support this just cause for the purpose of ensuring peace, stability in the region and ensuring a good and healthy life for the future generations.

(Disclaimer: The views of the writer do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. Nor does WION or ZMCL endorse the views of the writer.)

Jyotika Teckchandani

Jyotika Teckchandani teaches at Amity Institute of Social Sciences, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh. Her expertise includes Gender, International Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, Indian and West Asian Politics.

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