The Israeli-Palestinian issue is turning into an Israeli issue
Last May, violent clashes broke out in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Palestinian towns in Israel at the same time, forcing the international community to intervene urgently. The security situation is suddenly tense. When Israel signed the “Abraham Agreement” with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2020, people used to have a good wish: the relaxation of relations between the two sides will eventually promote the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. However, two consecutive years of mass violence show that this may well be an illusion. The Israeli-Palestinian issue is or has become a permanent problem that plagues Israel.
From the founding of Israel in 1948 to the Six-Day War in 1967, the Palestinian-Israeli issue was mainly an Arab issue, which was embodied in three Arab-Israeli wars, focusing on Israel’s right to exist. At that time, Arab countries did not hesitate to resort to war to resolve the Palestinian issue. After the Arab countries suffered repeated defeats, the 1967 Arab League summit put forward the famous “Three Nos Declaration”: not negotiating with Israel, not recognizing Israel, and not granting peace to Israel. Since then, Arab countries have spared no effort to use political, economic and diplomatic means to defend Palestine. However, today, more than half a century later, six of the 22 Arab League countries have normalized their relations with Israel, and the Arab League’s collective position is useless. In the future, Arab countries may only use moral means to support the Palestinian cause.
From the signing of the Oslo Peace Agreement in 1993 to the failure of the last round of Palestine-Israel peace talks hosted by the United States in 2014, the Palestinian-Israeli issue is an international issue, which is embodied in the fact that relevant parties have proposed one after another peace process framework, focusing on the issue of Palestinian independence and statehood. At that time, the United States, Europe, and Arab countries invested a lot of political, economic and diplomatic resources to help Palestine establish a state. The United States has presided over the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks process for a long time, and successive governments have put forward their own plans for the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and invested massive political resources. Since 2002, the United Nations, the United States, Russia, and the European Union have formed the “Middle East Quartet” to collectively mediate the Palestinian-Israeli issue. From 1994 to 2017, the international community’s aid to Palestine reached 35.4 billion US dollars, of which the EU accounted for 18.4%, the United States accounted for 15.7%, and Saudi Arabia accounted for 10.5%. Because it enjoys broad international support, Palestine has negotiating leverage beyond its power status. After that, due to various reasons, the enthusiasm of the major powers to intervene in the Palestine-Israel peace talks dropped sharply, and the Palestinian cause became the Palestinian cause.
Since Trump abandoned the “two-state solution” in 2017, the Palestinian-Israeli issue has become an Israeli issue, which is embodied in Israel’s all-round occupation and control of Palestine, focusing on the Palestinians’ right to subsistence. Israel’s reckless blockade, repression, expel Palestinians. When the Palestinian issue is marginalized by international politics and Arab politics, Israel is becoming more and more prosperous, and the power gap between Palestine and Israel continues to widen. On the one hand, Israel is flourishing in regional politics, and its external environment has improved unprecedentedly. In the past two years, Israel has normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco and other countries, and has hosted or participated in a number of small multilateral mechanisms, including the four-party mechanism of the United States, India, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the trilateral talks between Israel, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the United States, The foreign ministers’ meeting of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco seems to have stood at the center stage of Middle East politics.
On the other hand, Israel clearly opposes the “two-state solution”, does not accept Palestine as a complete sovereign state, and brutally squeezes the living space of the Palestinians. The conflict between Palestine and Israel continues to intensify, and the hope for a complete solution is increasingly slim. Domestically, in 2018, Israel passed the “Jewish Nationality Act”, confirming the “Jewish attributes” of the country and excluding Palestinians, who account for 20% of the total population, from the nation, completely shattering the Palestinians’ dream of pursuing equal citizenship . In Gaza, Israel has implemented a severe sea, land and air blockade for a long time since 2006. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel intensified its military occupation, expanded Jewish settlements, and expelled Palestinians. In the history of the Palestinian-Israeli issue, the establishment of a Palestinian state has never been so hopeless as it is today.
Although Israel’s occupation and control of Palestine has been widely condemned by the international community, including the United States, it is clear that this sad status quo will not change, and is likely to persist. Currently, there are 1.99 million Arabs in Israel and 4.91 million Palestinians in the occupied territories, for a total of 6.9 million. Israel’s Jewish population is about 6.82 million. How to effectively manage the 6.9 million Palestinians will be the focus of future Palestinian-Israeli issues.
Israel’s detente and peace against the Arab countries, and the suppression and isolation of the Palestinians. The two main lines are seriously conflicting, and it is impossible to bring about lasting and true peace. The “two-state solution” has almost completely failed, the enthusiasm of the international community has faded, Israel enjoys almost full power but also bears full responsibility, and the Palestinian-Israeli issue has entered a new stage.