Resolving the bloodshed

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Friday, Jun 21, 2024

This year, Eidul Azha passed in the shadow of fear and panic for the residents of Gaza because Israel refused a ceasefire without a formal agreement. As the Gaza war entered its ninth month, many anti-government protesters gathered outside the Israeli parliament, from where an impressive march towards the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was started.

Reportedly, nine protesters were arrested after clashes with police outside the Israeli prime minister’s residence. The protesters, holding Israeli flags in their hands, were opposing the policies of the Netanyahu government and demanding new elections. The war cabinet in Israel has finally been dismantled, and two key members of the cabinet have already resigned over government policies.

In my view, the recent humanitarian crisis in Gaza has clearly divided the international community into two parts, as sensible and God-fearing people around the world are feeling the pain of the residents of Gaza without any discrimination. They want the innocent residents of Gaza not to be targeted by global politics. In general, a two-state solution is emphasized to end the Middle East conflict. However, according to some analysts, the establishment of two hostile neighbouring states will cause more threats to world peace. During my recent visit to the UAE, I also came to know about the popular Arabic slogan (min an-nahr ila l-bahr) for a single united country from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This political slogan was first raised in the sixties by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while Israeli politicians have also made this concept part of their election campaigns in the context of Greater Israel.

Interestingly, Muammar Gaddafi, the former ruler of Libya, in his book published in 2000 proposed to establish a modern, democratic and secular state in the form of the Federal Republic of the Holy Land, which, according to the Libyan leader, was named ‘Isratine’ by combining the names of Israel and Palestine. He suggested that the bi-national Isratine state must consist of five administrative units of the current Israeli territory, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with the historical holy city of Jerusalem as its capital.

Under the one-state solution, the honourable return of all Palestinian refugees should be ensured. The state should be recognized by the international community. All Jewish and Muslim people living in Isratine should have equal civic rights. Free and fair elections in the Isratine state should be held under the supervision of the United Nations. Unfortunately, due to the Arab Spring in Libya, Gaddafi lost his life and the aforementioned one-state solution idea could not be moved further at the diplomatic level.

According to various public opinion polls, a significant number of Palestinians support a one-state solution. Facing horrific war and violent conflicts for a long time, they want their new generation to live in peace and tranquility.

At the diplomatic level, the significance of the two-state solution is being emphasized internationally. However, those who keep an eye on the ground realities believe establishing a united state as the only sustainable, workable and doable solution to resolve this issue permanently. I pray to God Almighty that the long sufferings of the innocent Palestinians ends as soon as possible, the Holy Land is safeguarded from further bloodshed and the doors of Jerusalem be opened to the followers of all religions.

The writer is a member of the

National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets/posts @RVankwani