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Palestinian cause will remain region’s core issue despite ‘temporary’ shift of focus — observers

By Raed Omari - May 07,2015 - Last updated at May 07,2015

AMMAN — The Palestinian cause is still and will always be the central Arab and international issue despite the shifted focus nowadays to other "urgent" matters, including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and terrorism, analysts agreed Thursday.

With the wars, unrest, instability and terror sweeping other Arab states unmistakably gripping the focus of international press and diplomacy, political analysts interviewed by The Jordan Times said that the Palestinian question will remain Arabs' core issue, especially in Jordan. 

Former Royal Court chief and veteran politicians and analyst Adnan Abu Odeh explained that strategically, historically, religiously, culturally and emotionally, the Palestinian question will remain Arabs' first and foremost cause but "politically, diplomatically and in international press, the world's focus is currently placed on other urgent regional matters".

"Some regional issues are of urgent nature like Syria, Iraq and terror, and they require immediate action but this does not mean that Palestine is no longer the central cause," Abu Odeh added.

"It is like the difference between centralisation and centrality."  

Abu Odeh also said that the future of the entire region is linked to finding a just and lasting solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "Such is not only an Arab and Islamic view of the region's struggle but also one adopted by the international community."

“All members of the international community, especially Jordan, want a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict except for Israel. For Jordan, establishing a Palestinian state on the basis of the two-state solution is not only a top priority but a matter that lies at the heart of the Kingdom’s very existence.”

Political analyst and former MP Hamada Faraaneh echoed Abu Odeh’s remarks on the prominence of the Palestinian question, adding that enemies and friends, states and non-states all agree that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the root cause of the region’s conflicts and the world’s instability.

“All members of the international community, international jihadi organisations, international and Arab leftist and nationalist parties agree that the absence of a just solution to the Palestinian question and the injustice in handling the long-running conflict is the major cause of regional instability,” Faraaneh, an expert in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, said.

Citing a statement issued three days ago following the gathering of the leaders of Gulf countries in an extraordinary summit in Riyadh, attended by French President Francois Hollande, Faraaneh said that the Arab leaders re-emphasised the centrality of the Palestinian question and its inseparability from the region’s struggles.

“The Palestinian issue is a central cause not only for Arabs but also for the Iranians, Turks, the Europeans and the Americans as well,” he said, adding: “In addition to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, a major dispute between the Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right party is on the two-state solution, which Washington considers the only formula to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Khaled Shaqran, director of Al Rai Centre for Studies, said the world’s focus nowadays on Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and terror as “short-lived”, and it cannot ignore the Mideast conflict for ever. 

Additionally, Shaqran noted that radicalism, “hatred and fanatic discourse” rising in the region are all the direct outcomes of the absence of a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“The entire region will remain insecure and unstable if the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unsolved,” Shaqran said, citing His Majesty King Abdullah’s iconic statement: “All roads lead to Jerusalem.” 

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