Vallejo Nocturno 2014- red zone
The battles for Kurdish and Palestinian statehood, on the other hand, or the tensions among different regions of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are more deeply anchored in movements for national rights, autonomy or self-determination that have long been suppressed by the modern Arab or Israeli security state. The process of sorting out such conflicting demands between the central state and the various identities of its citizens often takes many decades, some serious constitutional litigation where available, and a brief or prolonged civil war. The common denominator among all such situations is that wars end and stable statehood takes off only when all the citizens feel that their interests are taken into account in the management of statehood.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has experienced recurring and increasingly vicious bouts of violence because the rights and interests of the Palestinians have consistently been neglected in favor of the rights of Israelis to their own secure state. This lopsided situation that favors Zionist over Palestinian Arab interests has been consistently supported by the major Western powers, including this week in the American ceasefire proposal that reflects Israeli aims much more than it meets Palestinian demands.
As long as this situation persists, it will be impossible to secure a credible short-term ceasefire or to start addressing the deeper underlying issues that define the century-old conflict between Zionism and Arabism. Resolving this conflict requires first of all framing its core elements correctly, which repeated American mediators — whether cloaked Zionists or simply well-meaning amateurs — have never done.
Any serious attempt to end this round of fighting and seek to ensure that it is never repeated must start by grasping the three elements of the conflict that matter to both sides, with equal magnitude — not with the John Kerry approach that frames a ceasefire through the lens of Israeli wishes to remain in Gaza during a ceasefire to destroy the tunnels and other resistance elements that Hamas and allied Palestinians have used to fight back against Zionism’s denial of their rights.
The three fundamental elements that must be dealt with in this case include: 1) stopping the fighting and allowing both sides to go about their daily lives without the threat of being attacked or militarily occupied; 2) implementing the measures agreed in the last cease-fire agreement in 2012 that removed the physical and political siege that Israel, Egypt, the United States and others had imposed on Hamas and Gaza; 3) grappling seriously with a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation that addresses ending the condition of Palestinian refugeehood as fiercely as it addresses the Israeli demand for Arab recognition and security. This means going back to the events of 1947-48, when the conflict took its present shape of Israeli statehood and Palestinian refugeehood.