Sputnik: So UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that recent developments in the Middle East could create "an irreversible one-state reality" — what developments is he referring to, and how do these prevent the two-state solution from happening?
Jamal Nazzal: I think Mr Guterres when he's speaking about the prospect of a two-state solution eroding; he's talking about the steps and measures being taken by Israel, such as the continual settlement building and confiscation of land. He's also talking about the wall which Israel has constructed within the Palestinian territories; the road system which Israel created in the Palestinian territories to make it possible for Jewish people to travel on roads that Palestinians cannot use, even though these roads and highways happen to be built on land confiscated from Palestinians. So these are three examples of what Mr Guterres could be speaking about.
Of course, not to forget here, the fact that Gaza is entirely under siege. It has been under an Israeli embargo for a very long time. There's a separation between Gaza and the rest of Palestine, like the West Bank and Jerusalem. Most Palestinians can't get from Gaza or out of Gaza. Most Palestinians cannot go to Jerusalem. So this reality of increasing settlement building done by Israel is definitely going to make it more difficult to achieve the two-state solution.
Sputnik: The Trump administration has said that it wants to broker the ‘ultimate deal' between Israelis and Palestinians, and has thrown its support behind a two-state solution. Have we seen them put sufficient pressure on Israel to turn those words into a reality?
Jamal Nazzal: No on the contrary, Mr Trump isn't practicing any pressure on Israel. In fact he is giving them the green light to continue with settlement building. Mr Trump has actually put the peace process on hold, he's actually destroyed it. In fact, I do not see the prospect of a peace process when Mr Greenblatt, the envoy of Trump to the region, says that it's not necessary for the Palestinians to agree or disagree to the ‘deal of the century.' So it is not necessary for us to agree or disagree on this deal? We are the party who should be making peace or no peace. We are the party who Mr Trump should be talking to, but he isn't.
Sputnik: Mr Guterres also said that there is no ‘plan b' outside of the two-state framework, but many — most obviously the Palestinians — have questioned whether the US is fit to continue in its role as a mediator. Are there signs that another party may step in to fill Washington's shoes?
Jamal Nazzal: We wish that the European Union would step in to replace the United States as a deal broker. The United States has proven under the Trump administration that they are not an honest broker in this issue. They have lost their credibility simply by adopting the Israeli position one hundred percent. The US administration under Trump has succumbed to the pressure of the Israeli government. We ask ourselves is the dog waiving the tail, or is the tail waiving the dog? By this, I mean the shocking influence of Israel on the decision making mechanisms in the US.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Jamal Nazzal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.