Saturday, May 28, 2011

Obama's Efforts To Resolve Israeli-Palestinian Conflicts

Barack Obama has been on the job as the US president for more than two years now. All along, he has been working hard to promote peace between Israel and Palestinian. However, until today, Obama's effort in this area has not achieved any obvious positive result. In fact, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talk has gone into a dead end. But Obama seems to be a US President that will not easily give up a goal such as settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. On 19 May, President Obama boldly came out with his "1967 Israeli-Palestinian Border" proposal hoping that this proposal could break the deadlock of peace negotiation between Israel and Palestinian.
West Asia War
On Israeli-Palestine peace negotiation, President Barack Obama advocated that Israel's territorial border should return to the border line before the June 1967 West Asia War as a base for Israel's peace negotiation with the Palestinian state. However, the immediate reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "very angry". According to media report on 20 May, when Netanyahu met Obama at the White House, Netanyahu has furiously given Obama "a good lecture." He said that Israel absolutely cannot accept Obama's peace proposal. This is because if Israel's territory were to return to the pre-1967 borders, Israel will be unable to defend itself.
To pacify Netanyahu's "anger", President Obama did make special arrangement by giving a talk to the pro-Israel lobbying group known as "the American Israel Public Affairs Committee" to clarify his so-called 1967 peace proposal program. Obama said that according to his peace proposal, both Israel and Palestinian can exchange land and by the time the Palestinian can really achieve its goal to become an UN statehood country, the Israeli-Palestinian borders will no longer be the pre-1967 borders.
Peace Proposal
During the June 1967 War, Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula (later on Israel returned it to Egypt), the Jordan West Bank, Gaza and the Golan plateau. Currently, Israel is firmly in control of the West Bank, and has long incorporated Syria's Golan plateau into its territory. Now, President Barack Obama wants Israel to return all these occupied lands to their original owners, Israel will of course strongly resist such a peace proposal coming from the United States.
As for Palestinian, the Palestinian authority has also expressed their dissatisfaction over President Obama's Middle East policy because in his speech, Obama only mentioned the exchange of land between Israel and Palestinian but Obama did not mention the issue pertaining to the return of over a million Palestinian refugees to the Palestinian state. Nevertheless, in principle, the Palestinian did welcome President Obama's 1967 peace program and said that as long as Israel is willing to accept this proposal, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks can resume.
Multitude Disputes
From our perspective, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's rhetoric and claim that Israel will not be able to defend itself if its borders were to return to the pre-1967 War clearly cannot hold any ground. This is because Israel in the strongest country in West Asia. Israel processes advanced missiles, first-class Air Force and more importantly, Israel has nuclear weapons (although Israel has never admitted nor denied about it). We cannot think of any Arab country that dares to offend or violate Israel's territory with light heart.
For sure, there are multitude disputes between Israel and Palestinian. But the world has already entered the 21st century. Many impossible things in the past have also become possible. There is a need for the leaders in Israel to look ahead and make some bold decisions. Otherwise, the future prospects of peace between Israeli and Palestine will only become increasingly bleak.

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