The fall from grace of the failed two-state solution proposed by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and its replacement with the 2022 Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution has left United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) policies in total disarray.
On 18 September - High Representative/Vice-President of the EU - Josep Borrell - faced the media - after what was termed a 'Peace Day Effort' Ministerial-level meeting held on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the UN General Assembly – to report:
I think we have had a very good meeting, co-organised with the Foreign Ministers of Egypt [Sameh Shoukry], Jordan [Ayman Safadi], Saudi Arabia [Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud] and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States [Ahmed Aboul Gheit].
... I remember that our Arab friends launched the Arab Peace Initiative. This has to go further, to be elaborated on, to learn from the past experiences, [and] from the work that our American friends have been doing...
... The result of the meeting is a stronger commitment by many people to engage more on this Two-State solution, which is the only viable solution.
There is not an alternative. There is not a viable other solution.
On 19 September – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the General Assembly – repeating what has become his monthly mantra for almost seven years:
In the Middle East, escalating violence and bloodshed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is taking a terrible toll on civilians.
Unilateral actions are intensifying and undermining the possibility of a two-State solution -- the only pathway to lasting peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis.
By 26 September - Borrell and Guterres' remarks had been consigned to the diplomatic shredder:
Saudi Arabia is quietly setting aside the Arab Peace Initiative that it sponsored more than 20 years ago, and is readying for the possibility of normalizing relations with Israel without first securing the establishment of a Palestinian state, three officials familiar with the matter have told The Times of Israel.
Publicly, Saudi officials continue to stress their support for the 2002 initiative, which offers Israel normalized ties with the entire Arab world once it reaches a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians. The framework was again touted by Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan's speech at the UN General Assembly on Saturday and by the kingdom's ambassador to the Palestinians during his first visit to Ramallah on Tuesday.
But as Riyadh engages in talks with US President Joe Biden's administration on normalization with Israel, officials involved say such public statements have devolved into lip service...
... Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared close last week to acknowledge that Riyadh is prepared to normalize ties with Israel in exchange for concessions that fall short of statehood for the Palestinians.
"We hope it will reach a place that it will ease the life of the Palestinians," he said, referring to talks with the US as an opportunity to boost Palestinians' livelihood, rather than their political sovereignty.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre similarly refrained from talking about Palestinian statehood as the goal of the talks. "A normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia will include a serious component dealing with the fundamental issue between Israeli and Palestinian," she said last week.
Borrell and Guterres have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the existence of the Saudi-based Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution – which:
- Trashes the Arab Peace Initiative by merging Jordan, Gaza and part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) into one territorial entity
- Eases the lives of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and in other countries where they currently reside
They should recant...or resign.
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