War is almost never the fault of just one side, and looking at who was last to blame won’t solve anything either. But let’s stop with the rhetoric about Israel and Palestine.
On one side, a “regular” people who has a state; on the other side, “terrorists” to whom we’d like to give one, but on our own terms, a kind of open-air prison like the Gaza Strip. There had been a lot of talk about this in recent weeks, as speculation grew about a historic agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, another sign that the center of gravity of the Arab world was shifting toward the Gulf.
Thirty years after the Oslo Accords, with the Abrahamic Accords sought by Trump, the restart of diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv could have – perhaps, in the best-case scenario – cleared a path towards the creation of the two states, one of which would be a Palestinian one bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, which would have to be its international guarantor. Well-informed newspapers such as the New York Times wrote about this scenario. A flight of fancy into the future that could seem exaggerated from the start.
Above all, one question became obvious: what did the Palestinians think about this, divided as they are? Their view, as people from Gaza or the West Bank living in territories still occupied in violation of international law, was not taken into account.
Why? Because in the Middle East it’s important not to ask their opinion, but to construct a narrative that must force a political side, an opponent or an enemy to surrender or accept terms, without too much discussion. Take it or leave it.
And the European chorus is following in lockstep with that approach, devoid of a playbook, of knowledge, even of common sense. No wonder we’re now wondering why there’s still war out there.
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