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    Palestinians and foreigners march towards Israel's controversial separation wall between the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah and the Israeli settlement of Modiin Ilit during a demonstration against settlements in the area, on February 17, 2017

    'US Will Dominate' Potential Body for Resolving Israel-Palestine Conflict - Prof

    © AFP 2019 / ABBAS MOMANI
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    The US is finalizing its peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians, according to a statement made by White House spokesman Josh Raffel earlier this week. The comment came after Abbas criticized the Trump administration for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, while expressed no interest in the pending American plan.

    Sputnik discussed this with Abdul Sattar Qassem a political science professor at an-Najah University in Nablus.

    Sputnik: During his speech at the UN, the Palestinian President urged the establishment of a multilateral international mechanism for future peace talks. Which countries could this mechanism be comprised of?

    Abdul Sattar Qassem: The mechanism he (Abbas) has been trying to forward, I think, is useless, because we already have an international frame to deal with the conflict in the area — that is the Quartet, that combines Russia, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States, but in the Quartet the United States has been dominating the Quartet. So if we have a new international body to deal with the conflict, I think, again, the United States will dominate. 

    He (Abbas) hasn't been ruling out the role of the United States in any international frame, he wants to limit the domination of the United States, but could he do that? Is there any country in the world to take the place of the United States, to be a real broker between him (Abbas) and the Israelis?  I think he cannot do that, and he cannot find any other country. Besides, if he (Abbas) does find some other country, would Israel accept that country as a broker? That's a major question. Israel announced several times that it's not going to accept any mediator except the United States. 

    We all know that after the war of 1973 between the Arabs and the Israelis, the United States and Israel came to an agreement that stated that any solution to the conflict in the Middle East should be through them only, through Israel and the United States, and the other countries might be given a minor role, but not a major role to the extent that they might establish a lasting solution to the conflict, so they do not accept either the United States or Israel. 

    Abbas and his aides, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, tied themselves with Israel and the United States, to the extent that they cannot loosen those self-interests that they have been gaining, and they have gained a lot as persons, not as Palestinians, as individuals they have been gaining a lot of things, they have satisfied their personal interest. So will they be able to untie themselves from the Israelis and the Americans and lose all of these privileges that they have gained over time?

    Another thing here — Abbas has been roaming the international community, he has been going to the international institutions trying to get resolutions [submitted to] the United Nations and so on, and we have hundreds of resolutions in favor of the Palestinian question. What have the Palestinians gained from these resolutions? Until now they have gained nothing. These resolutions haven't changed one bit the real lives of Palestinian individuals, so we have been wasting time, effort and money, we have to rethink. Abbas is in the international institutions all the time, he doesn't go there as a strong man, he goes there as a weak person. In his speeches, he [always] tries to exhibit his weakness, and this is not the way to play diplomacy.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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