Incidents » Conflicts
Author`s name Michael Simpson

A State of Palestine? There Will Be None

Leaders of Arab states are not interested in creation of an independent Palestinian state
Regulation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is still the most important, and at the same the most painful problem in the international policy. It is no doubt that the problem demands a solution. However, there is little hope that the regulation process can be made moving. The reason why the situation is such is not because Israelis or Palestinians put in claims that are not acceptable for both sides (although this factor is rather strong indeed). The main problem is probably different: it may seem paradoxical, but leaders of Arab states are not interested in creation of an independent Palestinian state. They have some reasons for this.

As is known, the state of Israel was created on May 15, 1948. It was also planned that together with Israel an Arab state of Palestine will be also created. However, the intention failed. The first Arab-Israeli war broke out, majority of Palestinians became refugees and no Arab state was created at all. The present-day Palestinian autonomy can hardly be called a full value state formation. Right since that time, Palestinians have been striving for creation of a state of their own, they sometimes resort to terrorist measures at that. Israelis, in their turn, stand in opposition to Israelis; all attacks they deliver against the Palestinian territories they call struggle against terrorism.

The above mentioned facts are known to all, as well as the fact that neighboring states support Palestinians in their struggle and also stand up for creation of an independent state. At that, it happens so that other circumstances of the Arab-Israeli conflict are sometimes ignored. Within the decades of the conflict, leaders of Arab nations and Iran (irrespective of the political regime) haven't made anything to speed up creation of a Palestinian state. Although they spoke so much in support of the fair struggle, the governments of these countries did everything they could to prevent creation of an independent Palestinian state.

After the war in 1948, Arab countries occupied a great part of the territory on which, as the UN resolution says, a state meant to be created for Palestinians. Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip, Jordan – the West Bank. A question arises in this connection: why neither Egypt nor Jordan did anything to create an independent Palestinian state within the whole period of the 19-year possession of the territories (till the six-day war of 1967).  What is more, it was until the late 1980s that late Jordan King Hussein laid claims to the West Bank. It means that for a very long period neighbors of Palestinians cherished a wish to distribute the territories meant for creation of a Palestinian state among themselves. They would even divide the territory of Israel if they could smash it up.

Another important factor is that many governments of the region use the struggle of Palestinians for creation of an independent state as a strong ideology instrument. Natural sympathy for Palestinians going from the so-called "Arab street" helped leaders of these states distract attention of their nations from important domestic problems, such as economic crises, social problems, and so on. At the same time, top officials of these states derived billions of profit from oil trading. To tell the truth, the instrument has recently become less effective, as lower classes are more and more displeased with the rulers. As a result of this, extremist organizations are gaining more popularity in these countries. They sometimes blame governments for insufficient opposition to Israel.  

In fact, Palestinian terrorist groups emerged mostly thanks to rulers of the neighboring Arab nations. It seems that Arab leaders considered it to be their point of honor to set up some pocket organization and further use it for their own purposes. Conflicts among Palestinians have become habitual. They entailed quite sad consequences: now almost every day the Palestinian leadership has to persuade the whole of the world that it has no connection with terrorists. They sound not very much convincing at that. Unfortunately, this situation will last until the outside support to terrorist organizations is stopped.  

The Mideast situation is a stalemate indeed. Arab leaders have got into a trap they have been creating themselves for decades. They cannot render assistance to their "Palestinian brothers". The influence of fundamentalists is gaining force, they are determined to fight against Israel and other infidels till final victory. It is absolutely no hope that extremists may change for the better and start negotiations with Israel. It is not clear whether plans for settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict do take account of the fact that within decades Arabs are brought up to hate Israel. Probably they take account of this.

As for Israel, the situation is also very complicated. On the one hand, terrorist acts organized by Palestinians have become a tragedy for thousands of people. On the other hand, what is to happen when an independent Palestinian state is created? Will the USA keep on maintaining Israel financially in this situation? Will creation of an independent state put an end to terrorist acts? As for America's support to Israel, it is highly likely that financial support won't be stopped, because the Jewish lobby is rather strong in the USA. As for terrorism acts, they won't stop when a new state is created. Majority of Arabs and Palestinians particularly fight not for creation of another Arab state, they wish to liquidate Israel. They don't care whether an independent Palestinian state will appear as a result of this struggle or not. If a new state is created, how will Israel fight terrorism on the territory of this state?

So, it is unlikely that a new state will be marked on the world map in the nearest time. After all, even if it is created, the contradictions suffered by the region won't vanish, they may get more complicated on the contrary. US's occupation in each of the Arab states is the only radical method to settle these contradictions. But this is rather a fantastic idea.