Arab peace plan hits Israeli brick wall
The Arab League has revived the Arab peace plan for the occupied territories of Palestine originally proposed by Saudi Arabia at the Arab Summit of 2002.
After the 19th Arab Summit in Riyadh, the Arab League established a working group headed by Amr Moussa and comprised of ten Arab countries to hold talks with the Zionist regime.
The moderate Arab countries of the working group are seeking the support of the international community for their efforts to resolve the long-running conflict.
The working group wants to work with the United Nations and the Quartet (the European Union, the UN, Russia, and the United States) to get to the stage of final status talks, which will determine the destiny of Palestine after over half a century of strife.
According to the peace plan, the Zionist regime should withdraw to the 1967 borders in the first phase, and in the second phase, Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to their homeland and resettle in any location where they used to live before the occupation.
However, Tel Aviv seems reluctant to accept the plan.
In fact, the Zionists have adopted a strategy similar to the one they adopted after the Oslo Accords, i.e. they are killing time and trying to create division among the Palestinian resistance groups in order to force them to drop their demands.
Although the Arab peace plan is being put forward after nearly six decades of conflict and numerous failures so the Arabs can regain their occupied territories, it still seems like a proper plan because it is based on UN Security Council resolutions.
The aim of the plan is to settle disputes between Israel and Arab countries, restore peace to the region, and help the Palestinian people establish an independent state with East Beit-ul-Moqaddas (East Jerusalem) as its capital.
Moreover, the new peace plan also provides some potential benefits to Tel Aviv, the most significant of which being that Israel would be recognized by formerly hostile countries and normal relations could be established between the Arab world and Israel. However, one can predict the fate of the Arab peace plan with a glance at the political systems of Arab League members and the Zionist regime’s intransigence.
Due to their heterogeneity, Arab League members have been unable to present a comprehensive initiative.
Two Arab League members, Egypt and Jordan, have signed peace agreements with the Zionist regime.
Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain have also been unable to play a significant role in regard to the Palestine situation due to their friendly relations with the United States, which is one of the main supporters of Israel.
Most of the Arab countries that are regarded as moderate cannot establish relations with the Zionist regime due to the political and religious views of their citizens.
These countries are looking for a way to resolve the Palestine question and thus eliminate this internal pressure, and the Arab peace plan is actually a response to this political challenge.
The fourth group of Arab countries, which includes Lebanon and Syria, has serious problems with Tel Aviv because sections of their countries are occupied by Israel. These countries will only accept a plan that ends this occupation.
The countries of the third group are the main choreographers of the Arab peace plan.
These countries, which have good relations with both Western countries and Palestinian resistance groups, have formulated a plan that provides benefits for both sides.
When U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discusses regional developments with the representatives of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Egypt, the role of these moderate countries becomes clearer.
Zionist Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s recent proposal to hold a peace conference in occupied Palestine, made during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, shows why moderate Arab countries welcome the Quartet’s participation.
Such a conference would diminish the Arab League’s standing in the world, especially if some Arab countries accepted Olmert’s proposal.
Thus, it could be predicted that most members of the Arab League would reject the plan, and Saudi Arabia’s statement bore this out.
Furthermore, the stance recently adopted by Israel indicates that the Zionist regime is only seeking to gain concessions from the Arabs and has no intention of ever withdrawing to the 1967 borders.
That is why the Arab League and moderate Arab countries want to hold successful final status talks within the specific framework of their peace plan or through the auspices of the Quartet.