Creating new perspectives since 2009

The UN must insist on an international peace conference

September 29, 2022 at 9:32 am

UN Security Council meeting in New York City, US, 28 February 2022 [Tayfun Coşkun/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation government continues to implement its settlement policy as it seeks to annex the West Bank by imposing a new occupation reality that rules out a Palestinian state. This is happening against the background of the world’s inability to find political solutions based on international recognition of Palestinian rights, and the lack of any political horizon for the advancement of the peace process due to Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people and its theft of Palestinian land to build and expand illegal settlements. According to international law, Palestinian land is occupied by Israel and may not be utilised or confiscated in any way.

Efforts continue to be made for an international peace conference after UN General Assembly recommendations every year. The UN Secretary-General has called for cooperation with the International Quartet and the Security Council to make arrangements for such a conference with full authority to resolve the Palestinian issue. Antonio Guterres also expressed the need to involve all concerned parties in the conference with the aim of engaging in a real peace process based on international legitimacy and specific references, leading to the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

READ: More than half of US students support boycott of Israel 

Since the idea of an international peace conference first surfaced, the Israelis have made every effort to block any diplomatic progress towards making it a reality; both the occupation state and the US oppose the idea. Meanwhile, the international community and its institutions have to work hard to stop Israel’s aggression and condemn its open war on the Palestinian people, especially in occupied Jerusalem, where the local people and Islamic and Christian holy sites are targeted. They must also rein in the occupation state as it commits crimes such as home demolitions, land seizures, settlement building and expansion, and the displacement of local Palestinians from their own land. In almost every respect, the Israelis are waging total war on the people of occupied Palestine.

Palestinian diplomacy continues with doubled efforts and coordination with Jordan, and every possible opportunity is taken to have the voice of the Palestinian people heard in international forums. The conspiracies and scheming against legitimate Palestinian rights are being fought, even as Israel seeks to present annexation as a fait accompli and imposes “solutions” at the expense of the Palestinians’ legitimate rights.

The message that needs to be delivered to the whole world is that the Palestinian people have a legitimate cause, and have every right to defend and protect it. As such, international efforts must be continued despite the obstacles placed in the way by Israel; strategic plans for political, diplomatic and media action on the international level must be developed and implemented. This has to include global mobilisation for an international peace conference; overcoming the deadlock in the peace process; and continuing Palestinian diplomatic efforts, which have made some important progress with, for example, parliamentary recognition in at least some European countries. The message is getting through, albeit slowly. These are the building blocks for the recognition of the State of Palestine as we aim for a peace process resulting in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The importance of holding an international peace conference at this stage of the Palestinian issue signals the start of a phase in which Israeli control over the land of Palestine should be stopped, with an end to settlement projects and the de facto annexation of the West Bank. International efforts to support a just and lasting peace in the region must start with granting the Palestinian people their legitimate rights. The UN must insist on the conference being held.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Addustour on 29 September 2022.

OPINION: Palestinian education is another field of conflict

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.