The Malta Independent 18 March 2019, Monday

Hope, justice, peace

Sunday, 20 May 2018, 08:35 Last update: about 11 months ago

A real solution to a peace deal in the Middle East seems more unlikely every day. Only a few weeks ago, Israel's intelligence services had tracked an Iranian drone launched by Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard from an airbase in central Syria.

Unfortunately, little has been done by the international community to repair the damage of three hugely catastrophic wars in the Middle East during the last decade. Gaza, for example, is now on the verge of total collapse, yet the US President doesn't give a damn. Or a bridge. Or a road. Or a new sewer system. Or a solution for the Palestinian's miserable life unravelling before people's eyes.


Israel has been left to do what it pleases. It has enforced a devastating blockade for more than a decade now, since Hamas, the militant Islamic group came to power and expelled the Palestinian Authority. While the Israeli blockade and the continuous Islamic military attacks have ruined Gaza almost completely, there is now no defending Hamas as this militant group regularly fires rockets across the border into Israel.

The painful compromises the Palestinians have made for peace in the region, including recognizing Israel and trying to build their state on just 22 per cent of land in the historic Palestine of 1948 have proved to no avail.  

President Trump's decision to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem has again sent the wrong message. It encouraged Israelis to continue pursuing policies in occupied east Jerusalem and seek to forcibly transfer the Palestinian population out of the city. This decision by Trump (to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital) violates the UN security council's resolution on acquisition of territory by force; it also contradicts a declaration by the US way back in 1991 that the states of Jerusalem should be decided by amicable negotiations by the two parties concerned.

But as usual, the 'America first' president, the cheater who, by hook or by crook managed to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, doesn't give a damn. He decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and now, by so doing, Trump has made the US ineligible to play the role of sole broker in the Middle East. We all know that Trump is strong and powerful and what he says goes. He does not care about unequal power balances. He does not care about upholding international law and try to draft a serious future of hope, freedom, justice and peace for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.


Jos Edmond Zarb


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