The United Nations General Assembly on today, Thursday 21, 2017 adopted a resolution criticising the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and begin the process of moving its embassy there. Now beyond the foolishness of the U.S. administration to make that decision, something I posted about here, and beyond the utter stupidity for the Nikki Hayley the U.S. Ambassador to the UN bullying countries if they dared criticise the U.S. on this matter, here’s a short nugget (considering it’s Christmas & a holiday season);
We know well that the Middle East is not new to foreign power meddling in the region which has been the main source of instability – with the Palestinian/Israeli conflict being no exception. The thing is that left to their own devices countries in the region are well capable of resolving their issues without external interference which always seems to exacerbate the situation; these conflicts after all cannot be resolved otherwise. What is needed are 3 fundamental elements to resolve these issues;
- We need to STOP meddling into the politics of the region or putting your thumb on the scale in support of one party or another; it also helps if we STOP the influence of lobbyist/special interest groups that attempt to steer our foreign policy agenda. This while setting strict guidelines of behaviour (red lines if you will) for parties to follow in protecting regional security. This requires that countries representing permanent members in the U.N. Security Council as major/influential power brokers in the region meet and agree on a set of guidelines to follow and align strategic interests/objectives. This while helping push a meaningful peace process forward in a predefined/well coordinated way.
- Incentivise parties to resolve these conflicts peacefully based on existing U.N. resolutions/guidelines. Incentives should not only be about future benefits but also about existing benefits that may be removed unless genuine progress is made. This helps balance the scale between countries and ensures each has plenty to gain and much to loose if these matters are not resolved.
Why is this important? I see plenty of people on social media suggesting that we in the west should keep out of these conflicts. Well, here are my brief responses;
- We shouldn’t have helped start these conflicts in the first place either by flawed foreign policy or by deliberate policies driven by narrow/imported ideology. Key word here is “imported”; importing foreign conflicts translates into national division across cultural/religious lines and undermines our unity & blurs the line between true national interest and narrow foreign and/or ideological interest. We see that being clearly played out in the United States, more than ever.
- Conflicts that happen abroad tend to end up on our shores this while affecting our national security rather directly.
Now that the U.S. has taken itself out of equation for the moment – with this “Meaningless” administration – when it comes to influence in the region, the EU, China and Russia need to help fill the void to bring some sense in the way we deal with this mess.
What are the hurdles to overcome? Actually just 1 major one or let’s say (1.5) – powerful lobbyist/donors compounded with corrupt politicians which makes this a deadly combination. That said ridding our system of lobbyist/unaccountable power brokers that seem to have infiltrated every part of our political ecosystem should be part of a long overdue overhaul of our political system. Can we do it? You Bet We Can!
The main take away here is that a meaningful “negotiating” process needs to be pushed through by power brokers mentioned above with influence through incentives, this while setting clear guidelines for regional security. Expecting parties in the conflict to suddenly forget decades of animosity, mistrust & war and start negotiating all by themselves particularly considering the imbalances of power between them is unworkable based on experience. So risk increased regional instability of a region under fire thanks to decades of complacency and inaction or force through a new vision to end the stalemate.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!