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1-31 December 2013      26 Muharram -27 Safar 1435 Hijri

Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East.  The  selection  of  an  item  does  not  mean  the  endorsement  or concurrence with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 10 December 2013, Tuesday
1. Free and Independent State of Palestine
The effort to revive the negotiations for the resolution of the Palestinian problem is another wily initiative by the US. Recently, a proposal with a roadmap for a free and independent state of Palestine was sent through a retired military officer to gauge Palestinian opinion. The proposal takes into account Israeli inhibitions and proposes a Palestinian state that remains under its control. In short, whenever Israel feels danger, it can take appropriate action against the proposed ‘state of Palestine’. The proposal has the full backing of President Obama, who has ensured Israel of not harming or compromising on its security. Therefore, any negotiations between Israel and Palestine would be based on the premise to protect Israel’s security. However, this is not something new and merely a repetition of an old Israeli demand. Israel has maintained that it would not accept a Palestinian state with an independent defence apparatus.

Israel proposes that it will take care of the security and police needs of Palestine; thus, there is no need for Palestine to have a security force of its own. The US is again putting pressure on the Palestinian leadership to agree to this proposal. Palestinians have already rejected the proposal and PA President Mahmoud Abbas has also said that the proposal reiterates the earlier plans that keep Palestine under Israeli control and is not acceptable to the people of Palestine. However, Secretary of State John Kerry continues to pressurize the Palestinian leadership arguing that Israel’s security is as important for the US as an independent state of Palestine. Kerry has had talks with the Israeli premier before putting across the proposal to the PNA president. Reportedly, the proposal has the approval of the Israeli leadership and keeps the defence of the proposed state under Israel. It is now for the Palestinian people to accept this ‘present’.

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 10 December, Tuesday
2. Israeli Doubts on the Nuclear Programme
Two weeks into the interim deal between Iran and the West, Israel still seems to be unconvinced. Reportedly, US Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister thrice in 24 hours on 6 December. Simultaneously he met with Palestinian leaders but the discussion mainly revolved around Israel’s security. It is uncertain, whether it was with respect to Palestine or Iran’s nuclear programme. It was more likely to be concerned with the nuclear deal; firstly, because Israel was perturbed with the deal between Iran and the global powers. Secondly, the American president has reiterated that there cannot be any ‘exemplary solution’ for Iran’s nuclear programme. An exemplary solution would mean an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations to ensure that it could never acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. It is not a secret that Israel wants the US to attack Iran and destroy its nuclear capabilities. In fact, Israel is a major factor behind the economic sanctions on Iran. It has regarded Iran as an existential threat. Unfortunately, the Iranian leadership after the 1979 revolution has strengthened this perception through their anti-Israeli diatribes and rhetoric. The reason behind Iran and other Muslim countries’ problem with Israel is its illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the violation of the human rights of Palestinians. In fact, the large part of anti-American feeling in the Muslim world emanates from its policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, the US has never tried to respond to this anger among the Muslims but rather, it has always supported Israel on various international platforms including in the UN Security Council. It would not be very difficult for the US to change its policy and coerce Israel to agree on a two-state solution, putting an end to the protracted conflict. Moreover, the way President Obama has been issuing statements that the US will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear capabilities, unlike Pakistan and North Korea, shows that it is under immense pressure from Israel. Israel has been citing Pakistan and North Korea as examples for attacking Iran. President Obama has responded to these anxieties by saying that North Korea had already achieved nuclear weapon capabilities when the US entered into an agreement with it. However, the global powers are in negotiations with Iran to discourage it from making nuclear bombs; the US is constantly monitoring the situation and will not allow Iran to make nuclear weapons. Israel should believe the US assurances. Its insistence on finding an ‘exemplary solution’ for the Iranian nuclear programme will plunge the entire region into conflict. The IAEA has constantly been monitoring Iranian nuclear plants. The agency should be given a chance to do its work so as to ensure a peaceful solution to the problem.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email 

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy.