Obama's promise of Palestinian statehood…Politics as usual
It was history repeated all over again as just like the many countless peace-processes and road maps that have been introduced in an attempt to grant sovereignty to Palestine and end decades of conflict, the latest attempt also faced a political stalemate. Only last year, US President Barrack Obama’s speech to the United Nations seemed full of determination and promise as he vowed to advance towards Palestinian statehood through renewed negotiations with Israel. He won applause from many countries including giants France and China who saw a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.
However, President Obama’s address this year succeeded in lowering those expectations with the president reverting back to a decade-old political standpoint by simply saying “peace is hard”. He also vowed to veto any Palestinian bids for statehood that are presented to the Security Council for a vote. Political think-tanks and media pundits say that Obama has no other option but to support Israel who has been America’s historic ally.
A negotiated deal was the only way to guarantee the formation of a possible Palestinian state while also assuring Israel’s security. It was also the only way to build lasting peace in a region that has been plagued by decades of conflict. President Obama’s statements have brought Israel and Palestine to a stalemate, and there is no denying the high cost that both Israel and America might have to pay if it is allowed to drag on any longer.
There is plenty of blame to be owned by many leaders for the continued failure of the peace process. The majority of blame rests on the shoulders of President Obama for back-tracking from his promise and Prime Minister of Israel who has consistently refused to show enough flexibility to allow any viable peace in the region. In fact, Benyamin Netanyahu seems to be more concerned about his own political wellbeing than about Israel’s increased isolation on the international stage. The Prime Minister is also to blame for the threat of renewed violence in the West Bank and all around Israel’s borders.
The second culprit for the failure is the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who has not managed to exercise his power to eliminate anti-Israel elements on his land. Although it is understandable that he is frustrated with the lack of progress for peace, the continued presence of such anti-state elements holds high risks for him as well. Although the bid to the United Nations has always been popular among Palestinians, President Abbas may find it difficult to contain their disappointment once it becomes obvious that political maneuverings in New York are insufficient to deliver them a sovereign state.
Credible American Newspapers like the New York Times have condemned President Obama and his aides for playing a game of diplomacy from the start where they vowed “confidence building” measures that they were not going to deliver. For Palestinians, the road that lies ahead is devoid of hope and no lasting peace can be achieved until US softens its stance as there can be no solution without strong American leadership.