Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Giving Peace a bad name -1

Posted by worriedlebanese on 24/02/2007

Two principles have come to dominate all views on peace in the Middle East these days.
– “Land for Peace”
– The establishment of a Palestinian State.
Before taking a look into the problems that these two principles raise, let’s have a look at how they emerged on the global scene.
A historical glimpse of the birth of the Middle East peace principles
People usually trace the origin of the first principle to UN Security Council Resolution 242 that stated two principles: (1) the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the (2) the “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. Nowhere in this resolution voted in the aftermath of the 1967 war do you find any mention of Palestine or the word “Palestinians”. The latter are referred to as “a refugee problem that should be settled”.
The Madrid Peace conference (hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR) that was convened on October 30, 1991 for three days, brought together and for the first time representatives of the Israeli, Jordanian, Syrian and Lebanese government. The PLO, deemed to represent the Palestinians, was in constant communication with the Palestinian representatives in the joint Jordanian-Palestinian team. As for Lebanon, its representatives acted as if they were part of the same team as Syria and didn’t partake in bilateral talks (though Syria did).
The basic principle that was at the basis of this “Peace” conference was that of “Land for Peace”.
Following the Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO, another principle started to gain ground, that of the establishment of a Palestinian State.
The Arab Summit that convened in Beirut in March 2002 finished with a much publicised declaration know as the Saudi initiative that reaffirms and combines the two principles and puts them under a common heading, that of “comprehensive peace” or “just peace” (the two formulas are found in the declaration).


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