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Palestine: collective amnesia spells collective disaster

By David Singer - posted Thursday, 6 February 2014


US Secretary of State John Kerry has missed his own deadline of 31 January by not releasing his eagerly anticipated framework agreement designed to help end the 130 years old Jewish-Arab conflict. It will now be released by 21 February according to US Envoy Martin Indyk.

Whilst speculation is rife as to its contents - it appears certain that there will be one crucial omission – that any Palestinian State created must be democratic – which could doom any further negotiations.

A democratic Palestinian state finds its genesis in the 2003 Bush Roadmap – the foundation which underpins the current negotiations. The Roadmap stated:

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A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved … through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established,

A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.

The full text of the Roadmap was presented to Palestinian and Israeli leaders by the Quartet mediators - the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia – indicating strong international support for a democratic Palestinian State as the end game to success.

By 27 November 2007 – when negotiations under the Bush Road Map were non-existent – President Bush assembled the following star-studded list representing their designated countries and organisations to announce that negotiations were set to commence in December:

Description

Delegation

Title of Head of Delegation

Name

Parties

Israel

Prime Minister

Ehud Olmert

  

Palestinian Authority

President

Mahmud Abbas

Quartet

United States

President

George W. Bush

 

EU Commission

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy

Benita Ferrero-Waldner

 

EU High Rep

High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union

Javier Solana

 

EU President (Portugal)

Minister of State and of Foreign Affairs

Luis Amado

 

Russia

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Sergey V. Lavrov

 

UNSYG

Secretary General

Ban Ki-moon

 

Quartet Representative

Middle East Envoy

Tony Blair

Arab League Follow-up Committee

Algeria

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Mourad Medelci

 

Bahrain

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

 

Egypt

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ahmed Aboul Gheit

 

Jordan

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Salaheddin Al-Bashir

 

Lebanon

Minister of Culture

Tarek Mitri

 

Morocco

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Taieb Fassi Fihri

 

Qatar

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Ahmed bin Abdulla Al-Mahmoud

 

Saudi Arabia

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Saud Al-Faisal

 

Sudan

Ambassador

John Ukec

 

Syria

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Fayssal Mekdad

 

Tunisia

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Abdelwahab Abdallah

 

Yemen

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Expatriate Affairs

Abu Bakr al-Qirbi

 

Arab League SYG

Secretary General

Amre Moussa

G-8, P-5

Canada

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Maxime Bernier

 

China

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Yang Jiechi

 

France

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Bernard Kouchner

 

Germany

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

  

Italy

Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Massimo D’Alema

 

Japan

Special Envoy for the Middle East

Tatsuo Arima

 

United Kingdom

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

David Miliband

Others

Austria

Brazil

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Minister of State for External Relations

Ursula Plassnik

Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim

  

Denmark

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Per Stig Moeller

 

Greece

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Dora Bakoyannis

 

India

Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences

Shri Kapil Sibal

  

Indonesia

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Noer Hassan Wirajuda

  

Malaysia

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar

 

Mauritania

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine

  

Mexico

Under Secretary

Lourdes Aranda

 

Netherlands

Minister for European Affairs

Frans Timmermans

 

Norway

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Jonas Gahr Store

 

OIC

Secretary General

Ekemelddin Ihsanoglu

 

Oman

Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs

Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdulla

 

Pakistan

Foreign Secretary

Riaz Mohammad Khan

 

Poland

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Radoslaw Sikorski

 

Senegal

Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio

 

Slovenia

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Dimitrij Rupel

 

South Africa

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

 

Spain

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Miguel Angel Moratinos

 

Sweden

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Carl Bildt

 

Turkey

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief EU Negotiator

Ali Babacan

 

United Arab Emirates

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahayan

 

Vatican (Holy See)

Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Special Envoy

Pietro Parolin

Observers

IMF

Managing Director

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

 

World Bank

President

Robert Zoellick

 

They all heard President Bush state the following:

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We meet to lay the foundation for the establishment of a new nation -- a democratic Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in peace and security…

… Today, Palestinians and Israelis each understand that helping the other to realize their aspirations is key to realizing their own aspirations -- and both require an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state…

No democratic State – no solution.

By 19 May 2011 Bush’s successor - President Obama - had started to vacillate:

The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

If Obama and the Annapolis participants have conveniently forgotten that creating a  “democratic Palestinian State” is fundamental to the conflict being ended – then they only have themselves to blame for the chaos and violence that will surely follow should Israel refuse to negotiate within a Kerry framework agreement that omits any reference to a democratic Palestinian State.

International treachery and duplicity would surely have triumphed over international diplomacy.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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