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Al Makahleh: King Abdullah’s consistent call for peace and the two-state solution

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Dr. Shehab Al Makahleh

On numerous occasions and in various forums, His Majesty King Abdullah has unequivocally emphasised the imperative of pursuing peace and endorsing the two-state solution as the only viable path forward. Whether engaging with parliament members, and government officials, or during visits to prominent international bodies such as the United Nations, the United States and European Union countries, the Monarch’s unwavering commitment to this vision has been a constant.

King Abdullah’s resolute stance underscores the recognition that peace is not only a strategic imperative for the region but also the key to unlocking a longstanding bottleneck. In his interactions with diverse stakeholders, the Monarch has consistently advocated for a comprehensive and just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The two-state solution, which envisions the coexistence of independent and sovereign Palestinian and Israeli states, has been a central theme in King Abdullah’s diplomatic discourse. His articulation of the necessity of this framework aligns with the broader international consensus and affirms the urgency of finding a lasting solution to the complex and protracted conflict.

During discussions with Parliament members and government officials, King Abdullah underscored that the two-state solution is not merely a theoretical concept, but a practical necessity for achieving regional stability and security. He has emphasised that this approach provides a viable roadmap for addressing the multifaceted challenges that have perpetuated tensions in the Middle East.

Likewise, the King’s visits to influential global platforms, including the UN, the US and EU countries, have served as opportunities to reinforce the importance of international cooperation in advancing the peace process. King Abdullah has consistently called on the international community to actively support and facilitate the negotiations required to realise the two-state solution.

King Abdullah’s call on October 11, 2023, for a two-state solution echoes the international community’s consensus on the path to lasting peace in the Middle East. However, as we explore the prospects of peace, it is essential to acknowledge the complex dynamics at play, particularly within Israel’s political landscape.

Israel’s current far-right government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has consistently opposed the notion of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu’s leadership has been a significant impediment to progress on the peace issue for an extended period. While the end of the war may usher in a change in Israeli leadership, the absence of an apparent pro-peace alternative poses a challenge.

King Abdullah, echoing the international sentiment, asserted that a sovereign Palestinian state should be established along the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This delineation provides a clear pathway to ending the tragic cycles of violence that disproportionately impact innocent civilians

Even if all stakeholders, including Israel, the Palestinians, the US and Arab countries are committed to advancing a new peace process, significant challenges persist. Key issues such as borders, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the future of Jerusalem, the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, security concerns and the situation in Gaza remain formidable obstacles.

Israel’s reluctance to embrace the idea of an independent Palestinian state is a critical factor in the peace process. The issues of borders and settlements, particularly those close to the pre-1967 “green line”, are complex and require careful consideration. The green line, established in 1949 after the Arab-Israeli war, delineated the armistice agreement line following Israel’s declaration of statehood in 1948.

With the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, it becomes imperious to look beyond the immediate crisis. US President Joe Biden rightly said that envisioning a post-crisis future was crucial. The recurring cycles of violence and the enduring military occupation spanning over half a century underscore the urgency of a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement.

The two-state solution, a framework that envisions the coexistence of independent Israeli and Palestinian states within the region, has garnered support from global leaders. The recent outbreak of violence reinforces the conviction that stability, security and peace in the region hinge on the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The concept of a two-state solution has served as the cornerstone of international peacemaking efforts, acknowledging the complexities and sensitivities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, this process has languished for years and the prospects for its realisation have dimmed even further amid renewed hostilities.

As we contemplate the aftermath of the current crisis, it is incumbent upon the international community to renew its commitment to the two-state solution. Only through a just and comprehensive peace agreement can the region hope to achieve the stability and security it so desperately needs.

The intricate path towards peace should drive the international community to recognise and address these challenges. The post-war era presents an opportunity for renewed commitment and innovative solutions, emphasising the shared goal of achieving a comprehensive and just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Had Netanyahu and his radical government listened to Jordanian calls for a two-state solution, they would have avoided the death toll on both sides.