The end of the two-state solution in the Middle East?
The Conference for Peace in the Middle East ended in Paris on Sunday without the participation of Israel or the Palestinians. The two-state solution - up to now the international community's common denominator - was apparently called into question but in the end was reaffirmed in the final communique. The international community must support the Palestinians' bid to have their own state, commentators from the Palestinian territories demand.
Palestine state must be recognised now
The idea of the Palestinians having their own state is still a distinct possibility after the Paris conference, writes the Palestinian daily Al-Quds:
“All the countries that took part in the conference should now take the initiative and recognise Palestine as a state and initiate full diplomatic relations. In addition, trade relations and bilateral economic contacts should be built up. It's also important to take concrete measure towards boycotting products produced in the settlements - as well as the Israeli policy, which contradicts the conference's final communiqué.”
Israel and the Palestinians need new ideas
The idea of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is off the agenda, especially with Trump as US president, Der Standard concludes:
“The Parisian Middle East offensive was initiated by the French foreign ministry at a time when the idea of Trump even as a candidate seemed unthinkable. Today it looks like a rebellion not just against the disappearance of the two-state solution but also against the anticipated policy of the next US president. Naturally it doesn't help the conference in Paris that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as the 'death throes of yesterday's world'. The fact is that the US presidents of 'yesterday's world' who supported a two-state solution have failed. Without a US president behind it it certainly won't work. Perhaps this dose of reality will produce some new ideas.”
Selfish interests prevail against reason
This conference too was unsuccessful because neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are interested in peace - despite the tempting offers of the participants - the Süddeutsche Zeitung criticises:
“The EU, for example, holds out the prospect of a 'privileged partnership' that can open markets and guarantee profits. The US can give security guarantees that minimise Israel's risks and alleviate fears. But the Arab League is offering the biggest prize: regional peace as a reward for a settlement with the Palestinians. With so much at stake it's clear which direction is the most reasonable. But instead of coming to the negotiating table with such prospects in mind, both the Israelis and the Palestinians are pursuing other interests: the government in Jerusalem is putting all its hopes in US president-elect Donald Trump, from whom it expects to receive a free hand for its land-grabbing policies. ... And the Palestinians, for their part, are placing their bets on an internationalisation of the conflict.”