Apr 29th 2009

Middle-East Crisis: Can It Be Solved?

by Badrul Islam

Badrul Islam formerly worked for Various United Nations agencies in Bangladesh,Somalia and Uganda.

It was at an Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002 that Saudi Arabia's Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, then crown prince, took a political gamble by unveiling a rare comprehensive peace proposal to Israel to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The details of the plans are: (a) Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon; (b) Attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees to be agreed upon in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No 194. (c) Accept the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. In return the Arab states will do the following: (a) Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict over, sign a peace agreement with Israel, and achieve peace for all states in the region; (b) Establish normal relations with Israel within the framework of this comprehensive peace. As a king, he had revived the same plan in the year 2007 and still continues his efforts to fulfill these plans.

Wikipedia states that "In November 2008, The Sunday Times reported that American president-elect Barack Obama is going to support the plan, saying to Mahmoud Abbas during his July 2008 visit to the Middle East that "The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative. It would give them peace with the Muslim world from Indonesia to Morocco."

Both the USA President and the King of Saudi Arabia have to realize the facts that success of the above plans will depend, first on their "Political Will" to restore credibility and trusts among the Arabs. If we analyze the "Anatomy of Power Politics" of the region it becomes crystal clear the West has expanded their political influence for economic interests. The Arab world doesn't repent that; as due to internal dynastic struggles, lack of technical expertise and limited economic constraints faced during their pre-colonial days they had to seek outside help. But gradually, the Arabs became skeptical of their former colonial rulers mainly the British and the French, the Zionists, those that encouraged illegal settlements of Jews in the Gaza and the West Bank and USA's pro-Israeli policy.

Let me cite an example to prove my point of how trust can be accomplished. In 1956 France-Israel-UK jointly plotted a war against Egypt known as the infamous Suez crisis. It was only the stern warning from the then USA President Eisenhower that forced the three countries to withdraw in deep humiliation. This is a perfect example of the "American values" that the USA President and Americans refers to.

Why, taking a cue from this precedent, can't the US President warn the Israelis about their recent attack on Gaza? Why hasn't USA taken a strong stance against Israel for not allowing UN to deliver food and medicines for the wounded Gaza Citizens? Why without final solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is Israel allowed to have nuclear facility?

To build confidence among Arabs and the Muslim world it is necessary for the Leaders to; first address these question in a fair and just manner and the next important thing to do; and it's the key point; that USA and its Western Alliances must take appropriate decisions and actions to stop completely their individual Politicians and their Media Slants from making wild accusations against the Muslims, focusing on "minorities of extremists". The vast majority of the Muslims as like people of other faiths, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists are devoutly non-violent, family oriented, practicing their individual religion and struggling to survive in the competitive modern world.

An example, that my above statements need addressing, is highlighted here from reports of Jackson Diehl, Editor of Washington Post, dated Feb9, 2009. "The past four Israeli elections have been won by a candidate who promised to end Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. Tomorrow, for the first time in decades, Israelis may choose a prime minister who is promising to wage war.

"We must smash the Hamas power in Gaza," Likud party leader Binyamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu said at one rally last week. "There will be no escape from toppling the Hamas regime," he said at a security conference the next day. "I'm sorry to say we haven't gotten the job done," he said of Israel's recent Gaza offensive in a radio interview. "The next government will have no choice but to finish the job and uproot . . . the Iranian terror base.". This wild attitude of the Israeli politician who may win the parliament seat cannot be useful to the peace plans that USA, Western Alliances and the Arabs want.

In the same way, the King of Saudi Arabia as "Custodian" of the two Holy places Makkah and Medina commands a great respect amongst the Arabs and it will be easier for him to establish a good rapport and instill moral values for fair treatment and justice towards both, their fellow Arabs and to the Non-Arab Westerners. The king must discuss in details his peace plans with the Arabs and the Israelis to ensure that all understand the plans and encourage free expressions of opinions from the people in Governments and general Citizens. The king should also ensure that, (1) within Arabs there won't be people with ideas and attitude like the Israeli Netanyahu and (2) should frankly discuss the military logistics of both Hamas and Israel and advice Hamas that in view of superior military strength of the Israelis, Hamas cannot hope to achieve solutions by firing Rockets and or instigating Israel for war.

In spite of all these unfair dealings received from the USA and the Western Alliances the Arabs are not anti-West and firmly believe that a transparent and fair procedure will be applied to find a solution to the Middle-East Crisis.

Will all the Key Players to the Middle-East crisis, please analyze their own conscious and take responsibility to create a peaceful and friendlier World?


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