British Foreign Secretary William Hague is right in asking the US to move forward to settle the Israel-Palestinian issue once for all.
In a recent BBC interview, in which Hague urged the United States to find a final solution to the pestering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the British foreign secretary probably banked his renewed optimism on three factors: 1) President Obama has won the election with a comfortable majority, and can work on his two-state vision without much fear of Jewish vote-bank; 2) Hamas has once again proved that it can’t be put aside at the whim of Israel; and 3) Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is again seeking a ‘non-member’ observer status for his country. It has been a tactical strategy on the part of Israel to deal with opponents on a piecemeal basis. By this they tend to disintegrate their opponents, preventing them from taking a united stand. Presence of Israeli forces in the West Bank, unabated construction of new settlements, encroachment of Palestinian fields and farms, ever-growing security check posts, siege of Gaza which has converted the territory into the biggest prison on earth, financial strangling of both the West Bank and Gaza by regulating the exports, tax money; these can’t go for ever as Palestinians seemed more empowered by the support they are receiving from the new democracies in the region.
It’s high time for both US and Israel to seize this historical moment and initiate a dialogue, not to be meant to last forever without any result, but to address all the disputes in totality. — Masood Khan, Jubail