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Al-Makahleh: King Abdullah’s calls for peace

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Dr. Shehab Al Makahleh

In the regrettable aftermath of the incidents that unfolded in Gaza and Israel on October 7, one cannot help but reflect on the warnings of His Majesty King Abdullah during his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Had world leaders paid heed to King Abdullah’s concerns before the October 7 incidents, the entire globe, and especially the Middle East, might have been spared the anguish of bloodshed and the extensive damage inflicted upon Gaza and Israel. The Monarch’s call for a resolute two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, was not a mere diplomatic formality but a plea for sanity and a roadmap towards lasting peace.

In the absence of a concerted global response to the King’s appeal, the world witnessed the descent into chaos that occurred on October 7. The events served as a tragic reminder that political inaction and diplomatic lethargy have tangible and devastating consequences. The bloodshed in Gaza and Israel, the wanton destruction of lives and infrastructure, could have been averted if the international community had heeded his majesty’s warnings that reverberated within the hallowed halls of the United Nations.

King Abdullah’s “audi alteram partem” — hear the other side — encapsulates the essence of diplomacy and conflict resolution. The Monarch’s plea was not a monologue, but an invitation for dialogue, a call for the international community to collectively address the root causes of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to proactively engage in the pursuit of a just and equitable resolution.

The October 7 incidents underscore the urgent need for a recalibration of international priorities. The world cannot afford to be complacent in the face of such crises. King Abdullah’s vision was not merely about averting a specific incident; it was a blueprint for preventing the recurrence of such tragedies in the volatile landscape of the Middle East.

The question that lingers now is whether the international community will learn from this tragedy and prioritise the pursuit of lasting peace in the beleaguered region.

On many occasions, King Abdullah articulated his concerns with an eloquence that resonated far beyond the chambers of diplomacy. His words were not mere rhetoric but a poignant reflection of the geopolitical precipice that the region now teeters upon. In a world where leaders often falter in the face of political exigencies, King Abdullah’s unwavering commitment to a two-state solution is a testament to his statesmanship. His call for East Jerusalem to serve as the Palestinian capital is not merely a diplomatic nuance, but a strategic imperative, a linchpin to a stable and just resolution of the protracted Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The King’s assertion since 1999 that we are approaching the precipice has never been hyperbole; it is an acknowledgment of the stark reality that confronts us. The geopolitical landscape is rife with fault lines, and without a decisive shift towards a two-state solution, the region is perilously close to plummeting into the abyss of perpetual strife.

As we stand on the verge of nowhere, the need for a statesman of King Abdullah’s calibre becomes all the more apparent. His foresight, rooted in the annals of history and a profound understanding of the region’s intricacies, sets him apart as a leader with the acumen to navigate the labyrinth of Middle Eastern politics.

The international community must uphold its commitments to a two-state solution and ensure that diplomatic undertakings do not wither away in the winds of expediency.

The urgency of King Abdullah’s plea is not merely in the realm of diplomatic discourse, but in the tangible consequences of inaction. The precipice His Majesty speaks of is not a metaphorical construct; it is the perilous edge of a yawning abyss that threatens to engulf the hopes and aspirations of generations seeking a peaceful coexistence.

The precipice is real, and the international community must muster the political will to avert the descent into the abyss. The time for resolute action is now, lest we find ourselves on the irreversible path to nowhere.