The Move of Security Council Towards Peace

  • 15 December 2008

Representatives of the member countries of the UN Security Council recently met in order to discuss a US proposal—backed by Russia, France and Britain—for reviving the peace process in the Middle East. The initiative calls upon the Palestinians and Israel to fulfill their respective commitments enshrined in the peace agreement reached last year in Annapolis, and calls on all the countries and international agencies to participate in creating an atmosphere that would facilitate negotiations between the two parties. It is expected that the Security Council will vote on the initiative tomorrow.

This move for peace by the UN Security Council is significant because it reflects a clear international will for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and reflects the commitment of the international community towards achieving and consecrating its plans in the upcoming phase. This would lead exert more pressure on Israel and would send out a special message, in the wake of the escalation of radical trends in the Israeli arena against Arabs and Palestinians, as well as the peace process.

However, despite the importance of this move by the UN Security Council the question remains: Will Israel respect the resolution of the Security Council, or will it simply ignore it? If Israel had respected the many previous resolutions related to the Arab–Israeli conflict then the conflict would not have ended long ago. However, the problem is that Israel seems averse to all such resolutions, and does not want to commit to any proposal that espouses justice and legitimate rights of Arabs. From the outset it has opposed any intervention of the United Nations in the peace process or in its other conflicts with Arabs. It always ensures that the peace process remains within a bilateral framework, and that negotiations do not take up the issue of its continued hostilities towards the Palestinian people. Therefore, before any consideration of international moves—either from the United Nations or other agencies—it is important to know whether Israel would be under direct pressure to act on such resolutions and implement them, because without this pressure the resolutions of the United Nation, it would always face sustained Israeli opposition. Consequently, matters will remain deadlocked and years will pass without the historic conflict between Arabs and Israelis reaching a settlement. Things would only head towards greater escalation and complications and threaten the security and stability of the whole of the Middle East region.

Israel is relying on its ability to wiggle out of its commitments towards international resolutions without sustaining a big loss. Therefore, it is important, that Israel should be made to understand that violation of international resolutions will not be taken lightly and without punishment.