The UN once again proved ineffective at stopping the deadly violence on Palestine’s Land Day which led to the death of over 17 mostly young Palestinians, while over 1,000 have been left with injuries, some of them incredibly severe. In spite of an emergency UN Security Council Meeting held to discuss the “Israeli” violence towards unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, the Tel Aviv regime threatened further violence which yesterday saw tanks fire upon children armed only with slogans and rage.
At the UN meeting, Russian envoy Vladimir Safronkov expressed Russia’s feelings of distress over the violence. In light of Palestine refusing further US mediation, which in every previous instance had failed to resolve the long standing occupation of Palestinian land, Safronkov stated,
“We confirm our readiness to offer a Russian platform for a meeting of Israeli and Palestinians leaders”.
Russia is in a unique position to mediate the conflict as Moscow has uniquely good relations with both Palestine and “Israel”. Palestine has recently been receptive to the idea of Russian mediated talks. In February of 2018, Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki stated,
“We are asking an advice of many internationally recognized legal experts to help us also to focus on different specific legal tracks and to see what could we do in the near future when it comes to this, you know, if the negotiations track is closed by the rejection of Israel and the United States, that means that they are not leaving us with many options but to focus on the legal one.
…we are ready for direct talks through a third party, of course… We do not think that taking Israel for 15 minutes reunion in Jerusalem will do that. We think that this will be a disaster. We think, you know, probably, coming to Sochi or maybe to Moscow could be the right one, if Netanyahu is willing to do so, you know, it’s only a flight of three hours, and he will enjoy, of course, the hospitality of president Putin and the Russian people. So, I advise the Israeli ambassador to look into it and to show the positive attitude”.
The Palestinian Foreign Minister’s statements indicate that the model for conflict resolution that Russia has pioneered in Astana along with Iran and Turkey, has proved to be an attractive one for Palestine, which has wholeheartedly given up on the perennially failed model of the US mediating in talks between “Israeli” and Palestinian officials. While Tel Aviv officials have thus far rejected an abandonment of the long dead US format for mediating direct talks, recent remarks from Donald Trump which have expressed scepticism with both “Israel” and Palestine’s ability to reach an understanding through existing channels, may force Tel Aviv to test a Russian lead peace process, not least because Russia is one of the few major powers with healthy relations with both sides.
With Palestine rejecting any continued American mediator role and Donald Trump seemingly giving up on trying to have one, states and international bodies which have thus far not actively participated in the peace process, could be well on their way to fomenting a multilateral dialogue in a format resembling the Syrian National Dialogue Congress.
In this sense it is possible that a peace conference including multi-Palestinian and “Israeli” factions could meet in Sochi with states and bodies as diverse as Russia, China, the Arab League, European Union, African Union and even the US acting as guarantors of a final agreement.
In February, Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyadh Mansour also invited China to act as a guarantor of peace as Palestine continues to seek partners for peace who are not as compromised as the United States which under Donald Trump has been described as the most pro-“Israel” US administration in history.