Public opinion against the Israeli occupation of Palestine continues to grow around the world. The French and Irish parliaments have become the latest in the international community to call on their governments to recognize an independent State of Palestine.
Danish MPs are urging their government to recognize a two-state solution. Parliamentary votes in Britain, France and Spain are also in favor of a Palestinian state. This trend could have a greater diplomatic impact and eventually influence a change in policy.
Recently the Italian EU foreign policy chief said that she hopes to see a Palestinian state come into existence within her five-year term.
Earlier the EU implemented tougher policies toward Israel by boycotting goods originating in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Today there is genuine global pressure to isolate Israel and to facilitate the recognition of an independent State of Palestine.
In October, Israel withdrew its ambassador from Sweden when it recognized Palestinian statehood. Israel continues its arrogant tantrums whenever any country recognizes the rights of Palestinians.
It has criticized defiant votes by Irish MPs and, as usual, the Israeli foreign ministry accused the Irish parliament of anti-Semitism. Well, they have used their anti-Semitism card for far too long. It is becoming a joke and can no longer gain sympathy or any consideration.
Today there is genuine global pressure to isolate IsraelSamar Fatany
Failure of peace talks
The failure of meaningful peace talks and the exhausted efforts toward a two-state solution between Israel and the PLO have mobilized an international campaign to isolate the Jewish state of Israel.
The latest global parliamentary votes were a result of the killing of a senior Palestinian official and the total disregard for U.N. resolutions to put an end to settlements.
Human rights violations in Gaza, in which 2,000 Palestinians were killed have further escalated tensions between Israel and members of the United Nations.
A majority of 135 members of the U.N. General Assembly have given their support for a two-state solution, and in particular there has been strong support for a Palestinian state by Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and most Latin American countries.
However, U.S. vetoes in the Security Council have always blocked any meaningful solution. Moreover, U.S. threats to withhold funding from any organization that admitted Palestine have deprived the Palestinians of significant international support.
Lately, we can clearly see light at the end of the tunnel with the rise of international support for Palestinian statehood. In Europe and Britain there is a growing feeling that Israel is not serious in claiming to be seeking Palestinian recognition of Israel as a state.
The Israeli wall erected to hold Palestinians as prisoners in their territories, the Israeli settlements with over 600,000 inhabitants, the inhumane checkpoints, and the continued humiliations and disregard for the suffering of Palestinians, especially the miserable conditions of women and children, are some examples of Israeli disrespect for human rights and international laws.
The pursuit of international recognition of the State of Palestine has passed through many difficult and arduous stages.
The Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference were relentless in their demands to recognize the rights of Palestinians for an independent state.
In November 1989, the Arab League proposed a resolution to formally recognize the PLO as the government of an independent Palestinian state. However, the U.S., as usual, threatened to end its financial support for the United Nations if the resolution was passed.
The U.S. continues to threaten the U.N. with sanctions and the Arab League had no power to influence a meaningful peaceful resolution.
Many countries in Africa and Asia as well as eastern Europe and nonaligned states have officially recognized the State of Palestine since 1988
The reluctance of others does not usually indicate that they support the Israeli occupation, but rather that they are discouraged by the U.S. threat to cut its monetary aid and support.
Today, the tides have turned against the Israeli occupiers. Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 135 have recognized the State of Palestine as of October 30, 2014.
The countries that do not recognize the State of Palestine nevertheless recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.
Israel with the connivance of American Jewish organizations, such as AIPAC and with the indirect approval of an impotent U.S. Congress is stealing land, diverting water, polluting Palestinian farms with toxic material and using American bullets to kill Palestinian children with impunity.
Over the years in a very calculating and insidious manner, Israel has attempted to change the demographic landscape of Jerusalem and is blatantly depriving Palestinians of their religious rites by preventing them from praying in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The rights of Palestinian refugees should be reviewed and those ejected since 1967 should be allowed to return. Palestinians have a right to their land, even though Israel to this day refuses to define its borders and continues its illegal settlements.
What Europe and the rest of the world should now do is see to it that U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 are implemented.
The King Abdullah Peace Plan of 2002 should be reviewed seriously by Israel, which should also come to terms with the reality that no matter what acts of oppression it commits, the Palestinians are here to stay.
Israel is a threat to peace in the region and to the rest of the world. The injustice inflicted against the Palestinian people has radicalized many youth around the world. It is time to put an end to atrocities and give peace a chance.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 13, 2014.
Samar Fatany is a Chief Broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.”