Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prospects of Palestinian State Brightens

There is encouraging news that a Palestinian state is certain to be established। The news is encouraging because it was conveyed by the Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, who said that Israel must end its occupation of Palestine. Thus, sooner or later, a Palestinian state will come into existence. The question is when?

Role of the US
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been going on for more than half a century। In that time, the loss of life -- including of innocent women and children -- has continued with no end in sight. Many parties believe that the role of the United States is crucial in ending the conflict. The theory is that Israel can only feel a sense of security thanks to the United States, while Palestinians can only regain their territory and become an independent nation thanks to the United States. This was evidenced at the time of the Camp David Pact (1976) and Oslo Agreement (1982), which helped Yasser Arafat return to Palestine. However, since then, there has not been any meaningful progress. What happened, in fact, was an increase in Israeli violence and the building of Jewish settlements that continue to inflame sentiments in the region.

Change and Progress
However, change and progress march on। Iran, which used to be a loyal ally of the United States under the Shah Reza Pahlevi, now has become a democratic Islamic state that is critical of the United States. Its power now needs to be taken into account, including its military might, which has certainly changed the military balance in the region. It goes without saying that Iran's policy is strongly in favor of a Palestinian state and is extremely anti-Israel.

However, we can see the sincerity of the United States under Barack Obama to quickly find an end to the conflict in the region। The solution Obama is offering is that there are two states that can live next to each other, Israel and Palestine. The sincerity of the US is seen from its diplomatic efforts to bring together Palestine and Israel, as well as its open criticism an Israeli policy that is not conducive to the creation of peace, for instance, the criticism of the building of new Jewish settlements. There is a difference between the Republican Bush era and the Democratic Obama era.

New Diplomatic Efforts
With these new developments and new sincere diplomatic efforts under President Barack Obama, there is indeed a hope that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be settled। However, equally important are internal developments within Palestine itself. For instance, if there continue to be serious differences between internal factions that are difficult to resolve, will it be possible to establish a Palestinian state that is supported by all the Palestinian people?

With all these developments, the establishment of a Palestinian state will depend more on internal developments among the Palestinians. If the internal conflicts among them cannot be resolved, the hopes for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state will not be easily fulfilled. In fact, internal conflicts among the Palestinians can be exploited by those who do not support the establishment of a united Palestinian state. As a friendly nation, Indonesia's attitude should be to join in urging the unity of the internal factions that are now in conflict within Palestine.

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