Palestine is beneath the toe of the Zionist military gum boots. The United Nations has heard from an expert 800,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 1967, including tens of thousands of children, and of the current 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prison about 1,100 are being held without charge or trial.1 Currently, there are 160 Palestinian children among those being held in Israeli prisons, according to the expert Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, informed the council on Monday.2 Special rapporteur Albanese presented a report on the arbitrary detention of Palestinians, describing Israel as treating occupied Palestinian territory as an outdoor prison.3
Israel’s military occupation has morphed the entire occupied Palestinian territory into an open-air prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, surveilled and disciplined.4 This was according to Albanese.5 Meanwhile it is China who is looking to enter the place of the United Stated as mediator in the conflict.
China surprised the world earlier this year when it announced that it had brokered a rapprochement between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia. Beijing’s success in ending the hostility between Tehran and Riyadh was a diplomatic milestone which boosted China’s global image. Clearly, China is staking out a greater role for itself in the Middle East, a sure sign of an emerging global superpower. Can China resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict? Given the clear “clash of civilisations”, it should not overestimate its ability to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. At the same time, Beijing should not underestimate the power of the history behind the conflict.
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China’s national character is a hindrance to it being a mediator. It has placed less emphasis on its own historic culture in national life since Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Parts of China’s history have been erased in the new China. Communism is the essence of Chinese national culture wherein pre-communist culture and religion are not important national assets. The reality is very different in Israel and Palestine. How is China going to deal with the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict? Beijing’s diplomats need to have a deeper understanding of history, culture and religion if they are to be serious mediators; a special diplomatic team probably needs to be groomed for the role, with focused training to understand Israel and Palestine in depth. The wounds of the conflict require radical treatment, not a cosmetic bandage. If China can overcome this obstacle, then it can edge out the US and its influence in the Middle East, and establish a new order in the region. (China as a mediator in Israel-Palestine-Middle East Monitor)
I have my doubts that China will be a successful mediator in the conflict between Palestine and Israel. This is far different and more ingrained than the political and diplomatic tiff between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Neither wanted an open conflict with the other. Now with Palestine and the Zionist Israelis, the right-wing regime of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has no qualms about ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from Palestine. China too is no saint, given that they have routinely repressed and oppressed the Muslim Uighurs and the Buddhist Tibetans over the decades. As regards to Uighurs China has engaged in sterilization practices which is their own brand of ethnic cleansing. China’s main concern is economic interest more so than the US, and it has taken little interest in human rights. They will not lift a finger against Tel Aviv’s mass arrests if it threatens their economic influence. This has been the Chinese foreign policy in the Americas, Africa and even their home turf of Asia. It will not be an easy task to call for Israel to vacate the illegal settlements that it has constructed in occupied West Bank for the sake of Peace. Communist/Capitalist China despite being an economic powerhouse is a shallow hull with little political insight into the complex cultural interplay and diversity that make up the Middle East/Western Asia. The narrow disputed land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River has its own complex and multi layered story which the Israelis are trying to erode. Beijing will be of little help to stop that erosion. What good can the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) be when it comes to calling for the release of Palestinian Prisoners including the tens of thousands of children incarcerated in Israeli jails due to “administrative detention”? The stark reality is the Chinese will certainly fail just as the Americans have failed.