Palestine – Collective Amnesia Spells Collective Disaster.

Written by David Singer.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has missed his own deadline of 31 January by not releasing his eagerly anticipated framework agreement designed to help end the 130 years old Jewish-Arab conflict. It will now be released by 21 February according to US Envoy Martin Indyk.

Whilst speculation is rife as to its contents – it appears certain that there will be one crucial omission – that any Palestinian State created must be democratic – which could doom any further negotiations.

A democratic Palestinian state finds its genesis in the 2003 Bush Roadmap – the foundation which underpins the current negotiations. The Roadmap stated:

“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved … through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established,

“A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.”

The full text of the Roadmap was presented to Palestinian and Israeli leaders by the Quartet mediators – the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia – indicating strong international support for a democratic Palestinian State as the end game to success.

By 27 November 2007 – when negotiations under the Bush Road Map were non-existent – President Bush assembled the following star-studded list representing their designated countries and organisations to announce that negotiations were set to commence in December:

Description Delegation Title of Head of Delegation Name
Parties Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas
Quartet United States President George W. Bush
EU Commission Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner
EU High Rep High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana
EU President (Portugal) Minister of State and of Foreign Affairs Luis Amado
Russia Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey V. Lavrov
UNSYG Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Quartet Representative Middle East Envoy Tony Blair
Arab League Follow-up Committee Algeria Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mourad Medelci
Bahrain Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Jordan Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddin Al-Bashir
Lebanon Minister of Culture Tarek Mitri
Morocco Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Taieb Fassi Fihri
Qatar Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdulla Al-Mahmoud
Saudi Arabia Minister of Foreign Affairs Saud Al-Faisal
Sudan Ambassador John Ukec
Syria Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fayssal Mekdad
Tunisia Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelwahab Abdallah
Yemen Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Expatriate Affairs Abu Bakr al-Qirbi
Arab League SYG Secretary General Amre Moussa
G-8, P-5 Canada Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Bernier
China Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi
France Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner
Germany Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Italy Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs Massimo D’Alema
Japan Special Envoy for the Middle East Tatsuo Arima
United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs David Miliband
Others AustriaBrazil Minister of Foreign AffairsMinister of State for External Relations Ursula PlassnikCelso Luiz Nunes Amorim
Denmark Minister for Foreign Affairs Per Stig Moeller
Greece Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis
India Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Kapil Sibal
Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs Noer Hassan Wirajuda
Malaysia Minister of Foreign Affairs Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar
Mauritania Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine
Mexico Under Secretary Lourdes Aranda
Netherlands Minister for European Affairs Frans Timmermans
Norway Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Store
OIC Secretary General Ekemelddin Ihsanoglu
Oman Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdulla
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan
Poland Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski
Senegal Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Cheikh Tidiane Gadio
Slovenia Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitrij Rupel
South Africa Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Spain Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos
Sweden Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt
Turkey Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief EU Negotiator Ali Babacan
United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahayan
Vatican (Holy See) Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Special Envoy Pietro Parolin
Observers IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn
World Bank President Robert Zoellick

They all heard President Bush state the following:

“We meet to lay the foundation for the establishment of a new nation — a democratic Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in peace and security…

… Today, Palestinians and Israelis each understand that helping the other to realize their aspirations is key to realizing their own aspirations — and both require an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state…

No democratic State – no solution.

By 19 May 2011 Bush’s successor – President Obama – had started to vacillate:

“The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

If Obama and the Annapolis participants have conveniently forgotten that creating a  “democratic Palestinian State” is fundamental to the conflict being ended – then they only have themselves to blame for the chaos and violence that will surely follow should Israel refuse to negotiate within a Kerry framework agreement that omits any reference to a democratic Palestinian State.

International treachery and duplicity would surely have triumphed over international diploma

Cross posted from Daphne Anson

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    The indispensable condition for peace, and for any more Arabs to have yet another state is that its putative leaders and people proclaim to the world that they accept that the Jewish Nation has inalienable and legitimate rights to its sovereign nation-state in The Land of Israel.

    Unless they do this, no number of treaties, agreements, road maps or other pieces of paper will bring true peace.

    The overwhelming evidence is that the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” are nowhere near the point of accepting that condition no matter how much territory Israel donates to them.

    • Leon
      You are 100% spot on.
      I think it is time to rename the “two-state solution” the “Jewish State – Democratic Palestine State solution” – because that is the only two-state solution envisaged by the Roadmap and the Annapolis Conference.
      If Obama and Kerry don’t make this abundantly clear to Israel and the PLO in Kerry’s framework agreement – then it will assuredly end up in the garbage tin.
      The time for tiptoeing through the tulips has come to an end.