Palestine Vainly Hopes for Mediation of League of Arab States: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 May /corr. Trend E.Tanriverdiyeva, R.Hafizoglu / It is doubtful that the League of Arab States will support the initiative of Palestine to act as mediator in long years Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "The League of Arab States is unable to mediate settlement of the conflict between Palestine and Israel," Palestinian politician Isam Muhammad said.

After League of Arab States' assistance to the settlement of the recent confrontation in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Government, the Palestinians appealed to the organization with a request to mediate in Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Time Turk reported on 23 May.

"LAS will not accept the request of the Palestinians regarding mediation for conflict settlement," Isam Muhammad, the Dean of Islamic University in Gaza, reported to Trend via e-mail on 24 May. According to Muhammad, the LAS countries have their differences on political issues.

The expert considers that in its turn, Israel will not accept mediation of the League. "LAS serves interests of the USA, but not Arabs. The key for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict settlement is in hands of Washington," he said.  

A range of American experts on Middle East adhere to the same viewpoint. " Israel has traditionally rejected all efforts by parties other than the United States to serve as a mediator," Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics University of San Francisco, said. According to him, Israel has used Egypt and Jordan as intermediaries in certain negotiations on specific issues with various Palestinian parties, but they would unlikely trust the Arab League as a whole, given that most Arab countries fought Israel in the past and still fail to recognize Israel," Zunes said via e-mail on 24 May.

"The Arab League's declaration of a willingness to live in peace with Israel in return for withdrawal from Arab territories seized in the June 1967 war should be reassuring to most Israelis concerned over historic Arab antipathy toward Israel's right to exist.  However, the current Israeli government -- backed by the United States -- has chosen to ignore the Fahd Plan and other Arab League initiatives by continuing to colonize the West Bank and they reject calls for a full withdrawal from the occupied territories," Zunes said. "From Israel's perspective, the league is one of the most negative institutions in existence because it has almost always throughout its history pushed its members to a more rejectionist and aggressive stance vis-а-vis Zionism," Daniel Pipes, Former Board Member of the U.S. Institute of Peace, said to Trend via e-mail on 24 May. "I cannot imagine The League of Arab States mediating in peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine," he added.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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