by Rami G. Khouri
In the coming weeks, an important debate will take place at the U.N. Security Council on draft resolutions to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Second, that direct Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have taken place almost nonstop since the early 1970s – nearly half a century of negotiations – mostly mediated by the United States, without any serious progress made on resolving the central Palestinian-Israeli conflict (though peace agreements were reached on the Jordanian and Egyptian fronts).
So the debate at the Security Council in coming weeks is important for what it will tell us about two corresponding issues: Can the U.N. system come together in light of its conflict-resolution failures of recent memory, and devise a more effective peace process that respects the legitimate rights of both sides?
This in turn will test whether there is any credible capacity in the prevailing international system of states to resolve conflicts through negotiations, and thus to achieve peace, justice, security and stability that are the rights of all people, especially Palestinians and Israelis.