NST Leader: Palestinian state equals peace

The Middle East is in urgent need of peace. It has been since the Palestinians lost their homeland to the Zionists from Europe.

The Middle East can have peace. But two things must happen before peace returns there. One, the Palestinians must have an independent nation of  their own with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Two, those responsible for committing genocide and other war crimes must be held accountable.

Start with the independent Palestinian state. We acknowledge that there is a debate on whether it should be a two-state or one-state solution. Be that as it may, a one-state solution is to legalise the apartheid regime of Israel.

As the past 75 years have shown, it will be first-class citizenship for the Jews and concentration camps for the Palestinians. We do not accept this. Neither should the international community.

The Middle East is in this muddle because the international community has allowed the Zionists to dictate the course of history there. We stand with Malaysia and call on the international community to recognise an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Believe it or not, Israel's security requires the creation of an independent Palestine state in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, something even European Commission vice-president Josep Borrell is seeing as a necessity. "There is no way around it," he wrote in his Financial Times op-ed on Nov 27.

He is right. Palestinian resistance is as old as the first piece of land stolen from them. It is not going to go away until the Palestinians get their independent state. 

The alternative is ceaseless Palestinian resistance — a right of the occupied people recognised by international law against the equally ceaseless push to a create a "Greater Israel" in the native land of the Palestinians by Zionists extremists led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and far-right ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

Just as news broke that the United States and several Arab countries were working on international recognition of a Palestinian state, the three were quick to reject it, calling it a "unilateral recognition".

The irony is that the creation of Israel in 1948 was unilateral. The Palestinians, whose land was stolen to create Israel, weren't consulted then.

The Palestinians had more right to be consulted than Israel, which is after all an occupying state. One more thing. The international community must not dictate what shape a Palestinian state should take.

Like everywhere else, where indigenous people decide the shape of their nation, the Palestinians must be given similar rights. No external powers, especially occupier Israel, should have any role in it.

Accountability for genocide and other atrocity crimes, our second point, is equally critical. To let them escape is to choose a blood-soaked Middle East. The International Court of Justice had ruled on Jan 26 that there was credible evidence that Israel was committing genocide.

Despite the ICJ ordering Israel to desist from such actions, Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich are continuing their carnage in Rafah. The International Criminal Court warned Israel that it would be pushed to act if it continued its military action in Rafah.

Now that Israel is turning Rafah into a killing field, it is time for the ICC to make good its threat. Issue the arrest warrants, we tell the ICC.

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