Like words, written or spoken, actions matter. Newton's laws of motion, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, can perhaps be best banked upon to understand the latest theatre of absurdity played out ostensibly to find a solution for the most intractable problem of the world today — the future of the Palestinians.
Time has not been kind with them. Neither has been their fate. Their journey through time — from freedom to fetters — has been a chronicle of sordid conspiracy the world hatched in connivance with those who sound most vociferous in upholding human rights and freedom of mankind. They have been stripped of their land, their freedom and even their right to participate in deciding their future or tell the world what they want. They lost everything they had in 1967 and have since been waiting only in vain to see when shall the world wake up from its stony slumber and set right the wrong done to them.
The victors of 1967 have never been in any dearth of alibi to keep the Palestinians in chain and to thwart peace. The cumulative effect has been one of sheer frustration. Growing attrition only encouraged debilitation of hope and growth of bitterness. Israel, all along has been what the British Conservative MP Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith had said, had been despicably "unstrategic. It's as if they have got two fingers up at the rest of the world. There is a belligerence, an arrogance, a stupidity."
It is this arrogance and stupidity which have wedged a dagger right into the heart of a prospective Palestinian state. Former Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Zayyad has said that if the international community doesn't stop Israel from killing the last chance for the two-state solution, this option will disappear forever to be replaced by a long painful bloody struggle which will end in a bi-national state, an option that Israel will never accept voluntarily.
Zayyad is, at best, partially correct in his perception of the situation. West Bank settlements have killed the two-state solution. But it is a baseless optimism to believe that even if the international community now intervenes with earnestness two-state paradigm can be salvaged. In fact, the possibility is beyond redemption. It is dead.
Israel has long ago killed the last chance of letting the creation of a viable Palestine. Therefore, the latest outburst or the hue and cry raised over the new settlement in the area known as E-1 is rather extraneous — a ritual exercise the international community has been undertaking every time when the Zionists expanded their empire shamelessly devouring everything that historically belong to the Arabs or the Palestinians.
Expansion of Jewish settlements in E-1 area is cynical effort to Judaize Jerusalem to thwart creation of the capital of Palestine and to foil any possible expansion of Arab Jerusalem. It certainly raises a few other questions and the foremost of them is that which John V. Whitbeck, the Paris-based international lawyer and a specialist in conflict resolution, particularly as it pertains to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has lately raised.
The issue today is no longer whether and how a Palestinian state will ever come into existence — or even whether it is still possible. The issue is when and how the occupation of the State of Palestine will come to an end.
Two states, one each for the Palestinians and Jews, is an antediluvian notion which neither offers any solution nor guarantees Palestinians' right to live in peace and with complete security. Therefore, "the UN General Assembly's vote of November 29 overwhelmingly recognizing Palestine's 'state status' and President Mahmoud Abbas' (subsequent) decree absorbing the former Palestinian Authority into the State of Palestine" are actually of puny significance at the ground level.
The outstanding unanimity the world showed in accepting existence of Palestine as a state is certainly worthy of appreciation and yet left a big question answered. Where is Palestine today? The action offered the Palestinians a consolation that the United States offered Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for over fifty years between World War II and the collapse of Soviet Union. During this period, America "continued to recognize the three Baltic states which had been effectively absorbed into the Soviet Union … and permitted their pre-war flags to fly at fully accredited embassies in Washington."
The recognition notwithstanding, Palestine still continues to remain an occupied state or a state that exists in the occupation of Israel. This is an unpalatable truth that still defines reality — the reality of the Palestinians. And if they are reluctant to share the euphoria and exuberance of President Mahmoud Abbas they, of course, have a valid reason.
Their independence from Jewish yokes still remains uncertain. No one really knows when shall they have the right to self determination. The world, much to their chagrin and mortification, showed little enthusiasm to create a sovereign Palestine on Palestinians' land. Their recognition of Palestine was toothless exercise to acknowledge a concept which did not alter the fact that sovereign Palestine can exist only when the United States and Israel would accept a negotiate solution.
The feigned pro-Palestine bonhomie shown by the international community is distressing and it has cut through the Palestinians' emotion like frozen laser beams. In a way their action was a betrayal against the fettered and the repressed. As their reality remains unchanged; the winner-take-all approach of the Zionists receives further fillip the world actually connived to set the sun in the Judean desert behind the Jordan hills. The betrayed Palestinians were once again made losers.
The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman.