Saturday, June 22, 2024 | 07:37 WIB

Moderates vs. Extremists In the Israel-Palestine Dispute

Jakarta, IO – In a strong rebuke to Israel for its on-going war in Gaza, the United Nations General Assembly in a special emergency session voted overwhelmingly in favor of an immediate ceasefire. The vote also served as a stern reminder to the United States, which vetoed a similar motion inside the UN’s Security Council, that the world stands united in calls fir peace and adhemently denounces Israel’s disproportionate use of force which has so far caused 18, 000 casualties amongst Palestinians and a wide-spread humanitarian crisis that threatens to cause yet more unnecessary deaths due to starvation, disease and lack of access to medical care. 

Israel has called the resolution ‹disgraceful› and will undoubtedly reject calls for a ceasefire. Indeed General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but Netanyahu and his ultra-Zionist coalition members must consider the moral weight behind the vote. Israel had the moral upper-hand in the wake of the, Hamas attacks of October 7, but as a consequence of how it has blatantly broken international humanitarian laws and the Geneva Accords that provide enduring principles on how nations should conduct warfare, Israel now must face the fact it has few sympathizers. 

James Van Zorge
JAMES VAN ZORGE, is a Business consultant in Indonesia that has worked for the Harvard Institute for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization, McKinsey & Co., and A.T.Kearney’s Global Business Policy Institute. He completed his BA in International Relations, summacum laude, at the State University of New York at Albany, and he holds a Masters of Public Policy, International Economics, from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Unfortunately the prospects for peace look, at least for now, practically non-existent. Such a grim assessment is based on the fact that two extremist parties are in power in opposing camps. Netanyahu and his coalition partners have long been against a two-state solution and want to take control over the entirety of Palestinian territory. Hamas is equally extreme in its stance than Israel should not exist and violent means to achieve that end is entirely justifiable. 

Fortunately the future of a peaceful resolution of the conflict and achieving a two-state solution lies potentially within the hands of the majority of Israelis and Palestinians.Those who understand Israeli politics point out that centrist and left-of center political parties in the Knesset are in favor of a two-state solution. 

Read: KPU Has Been Violated (Again!)

Much the same can be said about the Palestinian side of the equation. The Palestine Authority, which governs the West Bank, recognizes Israel›s sovereignty, denounces militancy and supports a two-solution. Opinion polls taken by the Arab Barometer, a non-partisan research organization, reveal that the majority of Palestinians also want a peaceful path towards a two-state solution and do not condone acts of violence undertaken by Hamas and other paramilitary groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. 

All of which begs the question, is there still a glimmer of hope for the Palestinian cause? If nothing else the Israeli-Hamas war has reinvigorated discussions and has provided a sense of urgency about the need for a two-state solution and has made it painfully obvious it is the only means of an enduring peace. And it is only a question of time, hopefully sooner rather than later, when the extremists are sidelined and moderates can regain control in Gaza and the Knesset.