Saleh ِAl-Qallab
Jordanian writer, Former Minister of Information, Minister of Culture and Minister of State. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group

The New Path of Israeli-Palestinian Relations

Things have to get worse before they get better…This could well be true for the Arab-Israeli conflict at this critical historical juncture. Anyone who thinks that the great people of Palestine will not overcome the Israelis is deluded. Though the Israelis are putting all of their animosity and might on display through their far-right government, they know that they have to wake up to the fact that the movement of history is overwhelming. They are aware of the fact that they must stop behaving as they have been since they were forcibly implanted in the Palestinians’ homeland during a sick period in history when the colonialists pulled the strings.

It seems that the Israelis, or at least a substantial segment of the population, are extremists, settlers, and ruthless hardliners. They have not realized that the facts on the ground are changing and that history cannot be resisted. The Aqaba Summit, which brought the Israelis and Palestinians together and was attended by American, Jordanian, and Egyptian officials, had only just ended when the occupied West Bank was alight.

The summit had been held to quell the inflamed tensions in the West Bank and prevent the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist religious allies from going through with their exclusionary settlement program. Nonetheless, we saw Palestinian towns and villages rampaged by vicious settlers, who launched an unhinged assault, burning homes and cars and attacking peaceful civilians.

We all know that the Israelis, whom the colonialists had implanted in the Palestinians’ homeland during a sick period in history, are aware that things have changed today and are not as they had been yesterday. They know that they must adjust to historical developments and that the world of today is different from the world yesterday, which Western colonialists had tailored to fit the ends of the Zionist movement.

This gravitation toward the hard right and the electoral progress of hardline religious parties, whose control over government has been increasing, is nothing but an attempt to resist history. It is the result of the Israeli masses and elites becoming aware that coexisting with the Palestinians is inevitable and that the world will not allow the conflict to continue. They know that the world will not stand by as the rights of the Palestinian people are encroached upon to increasing degrees on their own land, nor allow Israel to remain a rogue state above the law.

The Israelis are not expected to simply walk back on their previous aspirations, extending their hand to the Palestinians and offering them a historical settlement… This would be a historic step that would imply extremely significant developments for them.

Everyone knows, indeed everyone is certain in their knowledge, that Israeli society is visibly and deeply polarized. The streets of Tel Aviv and other cities are almost constantly brimming with tens of thousands of Israelis protesting against the radical right-wing government, which is dragging Israeli society to the pits of dictatorship. This sick government lives outside history and reality, and no analyst or observer believes that it can endure for much longer...

Indeed, Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government was formed through an alliance with religious parties from an era of history that is now in the distant past. The Israelis themselves, not just the entire world, have rebuffed it. The United States is interfering in minor and major matters in an attempt to contain this hardline government that wants to inflame the entire region.

Despite all the extremism we have seen from the Israeli government, we can be assured that an extremely consequential historic shift is underway. The Israeli Zionists are no longer behaving like they used to. They are aware of the historical developments they must adapt if they want to avoid meeting the same fate that had befallen all the invaders who came and went from this country, which will doubtlessly remain Arab till the end of time.

As Ahmad Shukeiri (may god have mercy upon his soul) used to reiterate, the idea of throwing the Israelis into the sea is not being proposed in any way, shape, or form. All calculations have changed, and this matter has precipitated developments that the Israeli leadership must take into account.

It is clear- certain, rather - that the most prominent members of the Israeli top brass are aware of these facts. They are also aware that their state has become wretched. It is begging for a settlement with the Palestinian people, who are seeking to end the conflict through peaceful means.

We should be aware that the situation has changed radically. There is now a real possibility for peaceful coexistence between the Palestinian people and the Israelis, who must abandon all of their previous aspirations.

The Israelis have no choice but to coexist with the Palestinians; decades of extremism, constant violence, and insistence on perpetuating the occupation have failed to erase the Palestinian people. It will not erase them, and it will not extinguish the flame of struggle that ignites the soul of the old and young members of this truly great nation.

Israel’s repression and violence will exacerbate; there is no escaping this eventuality in light of this extremist government. But this phase is the darkness that precedes the dawn… The dawn of the Palestinian people, their freedom, and independence.