US cannot be bystander in Gaza conflict

Updated: 2012-11-26 17:30


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The weeklong military conflict between Palestine and Israel has caused more than 100 deaths. The cease-fire that has taken effect does not mean reconciliation between the two sides, or a solution of the problem. The pending disputes and endless violence indicate the possibilities for larger-scale conflicts are fermenting in the accumulating bloody hatreds.

The fundamental reason of the conflict is that peace negotiations have been stalled for a long time. Both sides sharply oppose each other on the issues of border, security, refugees, water resources, and the status of Jerusalem.

Although most serious politicians are reluctant to talk openly about the “encased knot” behind the stagnant peace process, few of them show real courage to push the process forward.

Under these circumstances, both Palestine and Israel focus on practical security issues, and the weak peace is maintained by a delicate and temporary balance. The absence of a long-term political target means any trivial confrontations may trigger a new vicious circle of military conflicts and stalemate.

The turmoil in West Asia and North Africa create a new political landscape. The problem of Palestine and Israel seems to take a back seat in world affairs. In fact, the seriousness of the problem has never abated. It remains the blasting fuse over the stability of the whole region.

It is unrealistic to restart the peace talks only through the efforts of the two parties involved. An external meditation is of vital importance to solve the problem. All sensible minds are clear that the United States’ influence on the issue is irreplaceable. Yet the US has not done something meaningful for the solution of the problem. After the 9/11 attack, the problem of Palestine and Israel is not as important for the US as before. After the US’ return to Asia and the Pacific, some politicians in Washington also propose to reduce the US’ input in the Middle East.

The periodic nature of the Palestine and Israel conflicts will not changed if the US does not fulfill its responsibility. The US should maintain its input in the region and hold a balanced stand as an impartial mediator. The sweeping anti-US wave in the Middle East demonstrates the US’ credit is declining.

Former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has said the US is the only country that can push the peace dialogue of Palestine and Israel ahead. In other words, Palestine and Israel are the conflicting parties, while the US is the leading party in solving conflicts. The unbalanced state among the three is an important cause of the worsening situations.

The US is by no means a bystander of the conflicts in Gaza. It should rethink many problems profoundly and play more constructive roles in solving the problem.

Translated by Li Yang from People’s Daily