Nadim Koteich

A Palestinian State Now...or Else!

The Gaza war has put the Middle East and the world in front of an urgent and undeniable reality: the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state.
This matter, whether it happens or not, will lead to results that can transcend regional borders and redraw the entire global political landscape. This file has directly weighed on the path of regional stability, international relations, and the dynamics and legitimacy of global leadership in ways we have not yet imagined.
The repeated rounds of violence in Gaza have always attracted international attention and intervention, but the current war has become a symbolic embodiment of all the consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has prompted, in an unprecedented way, thinking about a radical solution, as a result of its ability to destroy all the foundations of stability in the entire Middle East.
Therefore, if rational people in the region and in Israel were able to emerge from this bloody ordeal with a clear and quickly-implemented agreement to establish a viable Palestinian state, three direct results would be achieved.
First, the establishment of a Palestinian state will open the door to a new era in Arab-Israeli relations, based on understandings and the peace process. It has become clear that Israel’s military superiority does not replace the fact that normalizing relations between Israel and Arab countries is the only factor that can guarantee security and safety for all players, redefine regional alliances, and enhance the climate of cooperation.
This paradigm shift is not limited to diplomatic recognition, but includes a deeper reorganization of interests and the strengthening of political rationality in the Middle East, in a way that serves sustainable and productive stability.
Second, resolving the Gaza crisis through diplomatic channels, specifically through a truthful American leadership, would restore respect to the reputation and status of Western influence, especially US influence, in international affairs.
A successful and just intervention in Gaza, leading to the formation of a Palestinian state, would strengthen conviction in the West’s position as a trustworthy guardian of the leadership of the global order.
In light of the horrors that the world is witnessing in Gaza, including the unprecedented killing of civilians, the moral authority of the Western value system is eroding in a dramatic and dangerous manner, threatening the integrity of international law and international institutions, and turning all the constants of the global order into mere double standards devoid of any content.
Third, reaching a solution in Gaza that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state would strip Tehran of its pretext and lead to the destabilization of its regional influence. It is no secret that Iran has benefited greatly and for a long time from the Palestinian issue to advance its regional agenda, justifying its support for militias and political groups that adopt its political line.
Iran will then have to look for another external agenda that it can use to divert attention from its internal failure. This development can also constitute an incentive for the rise of moderate and sensible forces within the Iranian regime, who do not want to drown in the costs of foreign adventures at the expense of the advancement of the Iranian state and the interests of its people.
In this context, it is noteworthy that the Gaza war brought these debates back to the forefront, especially through exciting statements by former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in which he sharply criticized Iranian parties that wanted to push the country to engage into the war.
Inaction or failure to seize this moment to create a long-awaited Palestinian state could have adverse and dangerous repercussions.
Failure to establish a Palestinian state will inevitably lead to the erosion of the peace camp, with the dangers it entails for Israel and the region, and the further deterioration of Western moral authority, which means the liberation of rogue powers from the controls of the international system, and the increasing audacity of the Iranian rejectionist position, which destabilizes the security of the Middle East.
Such a scenario would not only exacerbate instability in the region, but would also threaten the foundations of stability in the global order.
In fact, the opportunity to radically address the Palestinian-Israeli issue should be an impetus for the emergence of bold and different leadership in both Israel and Palestine.
The rise of a post-Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli government, which potentially offers him a way out of his legal dilemmas so that he does not continue to invest in a crazy war for his own personal reasons, could provide the necessary political environment for progress.
On the Palestinian front, the formation of a technocrat government with modern Palestinian leadership, which is able to overcome the current division between the Ramallah and Gaza groups, would pave the way for a viable path to establishing a state, by redefining the Palestinian national project.
The current crisis in Gaza could be just another episode of long-term conflict, or could be turned into a decisive turning point that has the potential to change the regional and global landscape, through the creation of a Palestinian state.
It is time to stop looking at the Palestinian file from a moral or emotional perspective, and highlight it now as a strategic focal point for the security of the region and the world.
It is an opportunity that holds the promise of redefining the Middle East system, its pillars of stability and security, and the meanings of dignity for its people. It is also possible to reaffirm the values that should govern international relations.
It is an opportunity that the world cannot ignore.