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Peace Given More Than Just A ‘Chance’…

The Two-State Policy is the only way to resolve the problem. US President Joe Biden has made the remark about the recent Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu’s Interim Government agreed to a ceasefire on May 20 after 11 days of fierce fighting between the Israeli Armed Forces and the Palestinian Hamas Movement. Earlier, the US joined the chorus with the Global Community, urging both the parties to put an end to violence. Speaking at a press conference at the White House, President Biden recently said: “Let’s get something straight here: until the region says unequivocally they acknowledge the Right of Israel to exist as an Independent Jewish State, there will be no peace. I’m praying this ceasefire will hold. I take Bibi Netanyahu – when he gives me his word – I take him at his word. He’s never broken his word to me.

President Biden

President Biden also made it clear that the US would continue to make every possible effort to ensure that Israel’s security is not compromised. At the same time, he insisted that a Two-State Solution would be the only way to resolving the conflict between the two sides. Meanwhile, he pledged to build a major package with other countries to help rebuild Gaza.

This time, Israel used special Iron Dome Defence System to intercept Hamas missiles. However, the 11-day clashes damaged the system badly. During his telephonic conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Biden assured the former that the US would repair the Iron Dome. He also assured the Palestinians that Washington DC would help rebuild Gaza that has been severely damaged by Israeli rockets.

Experts are of the opinion that the US and the Western World are trying hard to balance their policy towards Israel and Palestine. They have been prescribing the Two-State Policy for long. In other words, Israel and Palestine should emerge as two sovereign nations, with a common capital in Jerusalem. However, after becoming President, Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump did not show any interest in the US’ long-standing policy. Instead, former President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Corey Kushne had adopted a different West Asia Policy that severely undermined Palestine’s sovereignty. Trump wanted to hand over the responsibility of the security of Palestine to the Israeli Army. As expected, the Palestinian leaders rejected the proposal.

At a time when the all the major Global Powers are making serious efforts to balance their ties with Israel and Palestine, India’s proximity with Israel has irked the Arab World, including good old friend Iran. In a way, India has failed to balance its foreign policy, although New Delhi has officially claimed that it still supports the Palestinian cause. During the Cold War, India used to maintain a strategic distance from Israel, supporting the Palestinian cause instead.

In November 1947, India had voted against the creation of the State of Israel at the UN General Assembly. It was motivated by the perception of India’s new Post-Colonial and Nationalist Political Class that Israel was a Colonialist State born on the Palestinian Territory, an issue largely shared by India’s considerable Muslim population. The recognition of the formation of an Israeli State on religious grounds shortly after the emergence of Pakistan under the same conditions was too sensitive for the new leaders in New Delhi, as they preferred to maintain good relations with the Arab World within the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM).

It might be noticed that because of the solidarity that was formed between the Indian and Palestinian nationalists before India proclaimed its Independence, New Delhi had supported at the UN the formation of a Palestinian Federal State with constitutional rights for the Jewish minority. In the late 1970s, with the departure of the Indian National Congress Party and the arrival of the new Political Class, New Delhi reportedly established clandestine contacts with Israeli officials. However, it quickly ended with the return of the Congress Party to power in 1980.

The thaw came in 1991 when, following the Madrid Conference and the improved relations between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), New Delhi established full diplomatic relations with Israel and opened an Embassy in Tel Aviv, a huge change of positions from the mere recognition of the Israeli State in 1950, despite Israeli attempts over the years to gain more after military supporting in the 1965 and 1971 conflicts with Pakistan.

Netanyahu (L) and Indian PM Modi

Since then, India and Israel have enjoyed good relations based on official contacts between Narendra Modi, who became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in 2017, and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu, investments and trade.

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