Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Peace Process Gets Big Boost From Key Compromise

"Compromise" is a new word associated with the political events encircling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just this Wednesday, Israel and the Palestinian Authority came to an agreement to postpone five resolutions expected to be presented to UNESCO. This compromise was able to come to fruition thanks to the negotiating aid of the United States and Jordan. However, as with every compromise there is give and take. In return, Israel decided to allow UNESCO experts to survey a number of archaeological sites in Jerusalem, most notably the Mughrabi Bridge. This compromise is a sign of progress in this conflict and the elimination of bad habits.

The progress is evident, Israel is now allowing for the controversial Mughrabi Bridge to be excavated showing their willingness to engage in diplomacy. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has shunned an opportunity to publicly defame Israel once again. This is a sign of both sides maturing and keeping matters “in house.” As opposed to taking matters to UNESCO, the ICC, or the UN, these parties are now coming together, leaving all other non-affiliated parties out of their business.

The compromise was welcomed by many in the Palestinian territories, many of whom have accused Israel of attempting to Judaize Jerusalem. With examination of these sites beginning May 19, experts will look for evidence of this destruction and act as fact-finders to bleed more truth into the ramblings between Israeli and Palestinian leadership. 

The Anti-Defamation League noted the important progress this compromise marks. In this act, UNESCO is now being pushed out of the conflict itself and able to rightly focus their attention on protecting world heritage sites, as the ADL stated. Progress was not only made on an institutional front, but also on a diplomatic front.

This agreement shows the important steps both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking. These steps lead onto a path toward face-to-face negotiations, which will hopefully bring about peace. The willingness of both sides to compromise and avoid the public arena is a great sign of things to come. In the past, the Palestinian Authority has used the public arena to garner international support and attention for their cause.

Yet, this is unnecessary now, with all of the lights shining on the region, as the Assad regime is in shambles in Syria, Egypt remains in question, and Iran is growing as an imminent threat. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are in no need of acclaim or Israeli attention, as they have garnered respect and legitimacy through their non-violence and subtle condemnation of Hamas. Furthermore, their cooperation with neighboring countries like Egypt earlier last year and Jordan now, show how the Palestinian Authority and the region as a whole is coming together to commit to solve this conflict diplomatically. With increasing confidence, communication, and interaction a negotiation session is inevitable. 

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Shimon Moshehai

Shimon is a recent college graduate with a bachelors degree in Political Science from UCLA. His research interests are Middle East Politics, Religion, and International Relations.

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