Thursday, May 19, 2011

The changing dynamics of Israel and Palestine

Netanyahu will be visiting Washington imminently to discuss the stalled peace talks with Obama. Recent developments in the region, such as the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, will make these talks tense. Netanyahu does not want to negotiate peace with a Palestinian side, that should it form a government, would encompass a terrorist organisation that fails to recognise the state of Israel.

Netanyahu said at the opening session of parliament in Israel “A government, half of whose members declare daily their intention to destroy the State of Israel, is not a partner for peace.”

However the rapidly unfolding nature of events sweeping the Middle East highlights the fact that Israel can no longer stall the peace talks. The number of Palestinian protesters (living in Syria, Lebanon Gaza and the West Bank) that demonstrated on Nakba day shows how Palestinians have caught the “revolution bug” when they marched onto Israeli borders from four directions. Of particular significance was the breaching of the border fence on the Golan Heights which has been quiet for years.

This recognition that the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians cannot last is demonstrated by the increased willingness by Netanyahu to concede the vast majority of the West Bank in return for a demilitarised Palestinian state.

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