Palestinian perspectives on the future

(photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Shutterstock.com)
A collaboration between The Elders and The Carter Center highlight the plight of youth who were born after Oslo Accords and who have seen three Gaza wars and no change in leadership since being born.

By Jane Kinninmont | The Elders | July 1, 2020

Policymakers working on this area need to be aware of the significant generational change that has taken place since the Oslo paradigm was established.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, traditionally seen as the central conflict in the Middle East, had dropped down the international policy agenda in recent years as progress seemed impossible and as other regional conflicts became far more violent. This year, however, the US president’s “vision for peace”, which largely adopts Israeli positions on the core conflict issues, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s related announcement that he would annex large parts of the occupied West Bank from July this year, have refocused international attention on the conflict and occupation.

In recent weeks there has been worldwide mobilization against annexation, uniting a disparate set of Jewish diaspora groups and scholars, former Israeli security officials, church leaders, US Democrats, European policymakers, and current and former world leaders, including Arab countries who want peace with Israel and see this as a potential dealbreaker. Trump’s rival in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, has said that annexation would “choke off” any hopes of peace. The international community is throwing its weight behind the idea of the two-state solution with an energy and commitment not seen for years. But can it find a constructive and realistic path to deliver two states?

Palestinians seek new directions

The Elders and The Carter Center recently convened a virtual dialogue with Palestinian activists from across the different geographies of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and inside Israel. The discussions highlighted the pressing need for a Palestinian national dialogue on the future of their national movement in the context of annexation and other threats to the two state solution. Such a dialogue should go beyond the usual political elites, to include often excluded groups such as diaspora Palestinians, refugees in the region’s camps, and of course young people.

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