The debate between Israel and Palestine’s UK ambassadors and President Abbas’ speech to the UN General Assembly have proved to be great opportunities to update the common man on the status of the peace process. Indeed, the week has been marked by refreshing opportunities to remind us of why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is nowhere nearing an end.
From Professor Hassassian’s respectable yet worrying concept of “no pre-conditions” to Mark Regev’s kind reminder of salaried terrorists on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the cause for peace seems as distant as ever. Others, such as the honourable President Abbas, went further and single-handedly took on the Balfour Declaration; an ultimate mockery of the road to stability and exposing the quite obviously unclear Palestinian cause.
What exactly is the problem, and what do Palestinians want as a solution? Whilst one would say the answers to these questions are tricky, the events this week reflect they are utterly unsettled to say the least.
A conflict raging since 1948 is credited to be a consequence of an episode in 1967. Peace talks with “no pre-conditions” are given conditions without having even commenced. Prominent Palestinian political figures wholeheartedly claim Hamas should not be an impediment to peace. Incitement, hate-speech and murder of civilians is not only condoned but celebrated. The Balfour Declaration (1917) is denounced 100 years later.
Big statements offering no solutions. Whilst we could list the many claims made by the ambassador and president throughout this week, in few or none of their statements would we find an answer to what would realistically make negotiations achievable.
What do Palestinians really want?