“The only solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is for both to have their own state.” It doesn’t matter whether Pedro Sánchez, China or the UN says it: that statement seems overwhelmingly logical. However, the two-state question remains unresolved 76 years after a consensus was reached on it.
It was after the Second World War when the United Kingdom passed the hot potato to the United Nations, which even then decreed a partition into two: an Arab Palestine and a Jewish Israel, with Jerusalem as a city with a “special international regime.” In its resolution 181, the UN even determined the steps prior to this declaration of independence of both.
However, in 1947 only Israel was created, leaving Palestine as the only British-colonized territory without a state. The UN itself reports that, after the war that pitted Jews and Muslims a year later, Israel “expanded to 77% of the Palestinian territory”, causing “the flight or expulsion of more of the Palestinian population.” In 1967, during yet another war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and another half a million Palestinians had to leave, prompting one of the few condemning Security Council resolutions, demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories. In 1974, the General Assembly reiterated the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and a sovereign state.
But even today that is a fiction. Israel ignores all resolutions, continues to approve illegal settlements, without international condemnation making any dent in this strategy that expels the Palestinians from their lands, and allows itself to open a diplomatic conflict with Spain because its president reiterates some well known. And in our country the issue is shamelessly used for crooked political interests.
Therefore, today we analyze the most logical solution to end one of the oldest active conflicts in the world.
These are the three topics we will address today:
Palestine has the right to exist as an independent state.
Latin America and Chinese neocolonialism.
Niger legalizes human trafficking.
“Hamas attacks do not come out of nowhere.” The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed himself with this forcefulness about the attacks of last October 7. And for this reason a shower of criticism has fallen on him. However, he is absolutely right. The terrorist actions of the Palestinians must be condemned, without a doubt, but we must also understand the context in which they occur. Above all to prevent them from happening again.
Josep Borrell, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, has expressed himself along these lines: «In the same way that we can say that it is an abominable tragedy to kill 270 young people who were celebrating life in Israel, can we not say that it is an equally reprehensible tragedy that 700 or 800 children in Gaza have died under bombs? How does lamenting one tragedy take away my moral strength to lament another? On the contrary, he gives it to me,” he stated in the European Parliament, pointing out a vicious circle of feedback violence that only a blind person does not see and which must be put to an end. Because, otherwise, the trail of death will only increase its flow.
The problem is that we live in a world governed by ‘either you are with me, or you are against me’, in which you have to position yourself without nuances due to ideology, religion, or whatever one considers relevant. Except for logic and common sense, of course. At this juncture it is understood that the South China Morning Post published an article on Monday in which it stated that “the conflict in the Middle East offers a rare opportunity for the global south to raise a common voice against the policies of the United States and other powers.” “Western”, shows the growing polarization in two blocs that maintain opposite positions by default.
The truth is that for a country to be recognized, according to the Montevideo Convention, it must have four elements: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to establish relations with other states. If it were not for the actions of Israel, which maintains its authority over different areas and deprives it of the territorial titles that the British colonizers granted it in 1917, Palestine would comply with them without problem.
Thus, this is a problem closely related to the decolonization process. Regardless of the legal intricacies that prevent its proclamation, it is evident that the Palestinians have lived in that land since time immemorial, and that their right to their own state should be recognized. Determining its territory would be a big headache, yes, but that is what international legality and the resolutions that the UN has been passing against a territorial theft that Israel has carried out, and plans to continue doing, with impunity, are for.
Latin America knows European colonialism well, and is now also in the target of the modern version represented by China with its economic expansion. Since 2015, the Asian giant has been the second trading partner and the second largest lender in Latin America – more than 135 billion dollars between 2005 and 2022 – a region that also appears in second place among destinations for Chinese investments.
No one doubts that the infrastructure projects that Beijing is promoting throughout the global south can be beneficial for the economies of developing countries. China represents an alternative to traditional Western hegemony. But it cannot be argued that it comes with numerous conditions: generally the projects are built by Chinese companies, often with Chinese labor, and are financed by Chinese banks that respond to the interests of the Communist Party.
This is what many consider a win-win relationship. Come on, everyone wins. At least on paper. The problem is that, as the Collective on Chinese Financing and Investments, Human Rights and the Environment (CICDHA) has denounced this week, this asymmetric relationship often develops to the detriment of numerous legal precepts. Specifically, the organization has reported 11 cases of different types of abuse in the last five years, and has investigated 28 specific cases with less than optimistic results: in all of them it appreciates the impact on the environment, and has discovered that 21 take place in such fragile ecosystems. like the Amazon or glaciers.
There are cases of pollution with substances as harmful as mercury, a license has not been obtained in some cases, and the impact on indigenous communities is not evaluated, whose lands are sometimes dispossessed. In nine projects their food security is even affected. As if that were not enough, the projects cause “high conflict and violence” and clear violations of labor regulations.
That the West has done many things wrong is a fact. That China has to learn from those mistakes to avoid repeating them, too. The country must act responsibly and distance itself from previous bad practices if it wants to be credible and establish itself as an attractive alternative. Otherwise, it is logical that complaints of neocolonialism will pile up.
It seems unbelievable that human trafficking can be legalized in the 21st century. But that is exactly what the coup government of Niger has done, one of the Sahel countries that have fallen prisoners of the Army. Specifically, what General Abdourahmane Tchiani has done is to revoke the law enacted just eight years ago that allowed the Authorities to intervene when they detected that mafias were trafficking migrants on their way to Europe through the desert that reaches Libya, the starting point. for the crossing of the Mediterranean. According to the coup plotters, this law did not respond to the interests of the country, which is why even the sentences handed down against traffickers will be cancelled.
It may seem like an irrelevant fact, but it will have a clear impact on migrant arrivals in Europe. In fact, when the law was approved, in 2015, the Old Continent was suffering the largest migration crisis with more than one million arrivals. The flow quickly slowed, and could now increase if Niger presents itself as a safe haven for criminals. It could also serve to blackmail the EU, which does not recognize the government of the military, and achieve concessions that line the pockets of those who govern now. Because, let’s not fool ourselves, in the end the only thing that matters is money.
Is all for today. I hope I have explained well some of what is happening out there. If you are signed up, you will receive this newsletter every Wednesday in your email. And, if you like it, it will be very helpful if you share it and recommend it to your friends.
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