Recognize Palestine … then the negotiations can begin

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah. (photo: File/AFP)
A call for recognition of Palestine by the global community must happen before other issues can be negotiated.

By Daoud Kuttab | Arab News | May 30, 2031

Issues such as settlements, Jerusalem, refugees and settlers need to be agreed, not whether the state of Palestine should even exist.

At a time when support for the two-state solution is almost at its lowest level, we are now repeatedly hearing this term. What makes such statements by Western leaders so hypocritical is that it is little more than lip service.

The term “two-state solution” applies to the final status of peace talks that must lead to the state of Palestine being recognized alongside the state of Israel. The world community has long recognized the state of Israel but has balked when it comes to Palestine. In 2012, the UN General Assembly officially voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. Since that vote, 140 countries have recognized the state of Palestine within the borders that obtained on June 4, 1967. However, among the leading Western countries, only Sweden has recognized Palestine, even though the parliaments of several European countries have passed resolutions calling on their own governments to do so. Many countries have said they will make such a move en masse and use recognition as part of a political deal.

The latest eruption of Israeli-Palestinian violence has caused a spike in the calls for the two-state solution. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was dispatched by President Joe Biden to the Middle East, has reiterated Washington’s support for such a solution, saying: “Most urgently, again, is dealing with the immediate needs of people and then taking the necessary steps that I think can create better conditions, in which we can try to move forward on two states.”

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