By Dr Rais Hussin
Palestinians, prior and before the death of Yasser Arafat, had indeed been fighting among themselves. It is easy to assume that this is the true character of the Palestinians. They just cannot unite at all. The famous saying implanted by the powerful Apartheid Zionist lobby in Washington DC or anywhere is that "Palestinians will never lose the chance to lose the chance of peace."
It is a very powerful and over-bearing propaganda, one that has worked in the West for six or seven decades since the end of the World War II in 1945: the Palestinians are inept sore losers, incompetent peace negotiators, and poor visionaries. Their abject state of human development is due to nothing else but the fault of their Palestinian leaders.
Thus, no more how many concessions the Palestinians were willing to make, either since 1948, when Israel was created through one-sided Balfour Treaty, or after the Six Day War in 1967, all Tel Aviv had to do was to raise the bar of negotiations.
If Palestinians asked for "right of return," where several million Palestinians' diaspora was dispossessed of their lands -- which forms the first layer of their true identity and political economy -- rather than a wandering tribe, the Likud and Labor government would say "No".
The moment the Israelis were to put their foot down, everything that they negotiate will always go downhill. Why? To begin with, even if there is a two state solution, the best and the brightest of the Palestinians would find it difficult to return.
In a two state solution, the Palestinians would have a shell, rather than a structure that can process the returns of those who had been chased out of their countries, and lands occupied by various rounds of conventional wars against the Israelis.
But the late Yasser Arafat was not wrong to have always told the international press, "a hand (of mere five fingers) cannot permanently cover the (sight/sunlight of the) sun." Something is bound to give in a war of attrition against Israel.
He and his colleagues, formed of various parties in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), signed the Peace Accord with the Government of Prime Minister Yitzhuk Rabin in 1994 to inch slowly towards a real "two state" solution, with the caveat that the right of the return of the first wave of the Palestinian refugees would never be struck off.
Since the demise of Yasser Arafat, PLO did break into several groups. With Hamas winning most of the election(s) in Gaza, which neighbors Egypt, and President Mahmoud Abbas taking hold of what remains of ramparts of West Bank, the Palestinians are clearly split by Israel into various factions, not withstanding the Palestinians themselves who have grown increasingly of their fractious leadership.
Give the circumstances at work, where Palestinians are being manipulated by Israel, their Apartheid Zionist movement and an American President who is panicking about being re-elected by November 3 2020, Malaysia should not do what Bahrain do which is to establish diplomatic relationship with Israel. There are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world, of which UAE and Bahrain, not excluding Egypt, Morocco and Turkey have had some form of relationship with Israel. Of these countries, Turkey is perhaps betrayed by Israel the most as Israel continues to conduct a stealthy campaign to back the Kurds or PKK more precisely against Ankara. Unless Israel wants genuine and comprehensive peace beyond an authentic two state solution with Palestinians, Malaysia should not join the bandwagon to recognize a country like Apartheid Zionists Israel that continues to practice apartheid to the extreme. While the Saudi dominated and led, OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) continues to meet more on baklawa and lamb mandi rather than focusing on real issues faced by 2.2 billion Muslims worldwide. Perhaps it is time for a new alliance -- Alliance of Muslim Nations -- led by a more progressive Muslim nations like Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Pakistan and Iran to recalibrate the thought process as to how the many issues faced by the Muslims globally, are tackled credibly. Otherwise, there will be just baklawa and lamb mandi meetings as we see in the impotent OIC!
(Datuk Wira Dr. Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff is the President/CEO of Emir Research, an independent think-tank focused on strategic policy recommendations.)