Ghassan Khatib in Open Democracy
The last decade of the last century witnessed the first internationally-supported political attempt to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by recognising Palestinian political rights and allowing a Palestinian leadership to negotiate for a solution. Since then there has been a constantly growing accumulation of peace efforts, political negotiations, schemes, proposals and initiatives that have all had as their one common denominator the two-state solution, i.e., giving Palestinians the right of self-determination in an independent state on the part of Palestine that was occupied by Israel in 1967.
But the first decade of this century has witnessed a series of setbacks and eventually the complete collapse of these political efforts. The international community became completely paralysed and remained on the sidelines, an almost silent witness to this deterioration and the reversal of the political efforts. Together with Israel, the international community has instead tried to compensate for its neglect of any promotion of a political solution, by attempting to deal only with the symptoms of the conflict – i.e., the economic deterioration and the worsening humanitarian conditions.