The Palestinians in Gaza are suffering horrendously under a decade of Israeli blockade that is getting worse on account of Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli pressure on Hamas. The Palestinians in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon are suffering greatly from the civil strife in Syria and the earlier fragmentation of Iraq, as well as from conflicts between different groups in the camps.
As for Israel, 1967 transformed it from a regional state into a regional power. It is eager to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, using Iran as the bogeyman to nurture that relationship. In turn, it wants to use that alliance to impose a deal on the Palestinians that would effectively perpetuate Israeli domination, achieving a final peace treaty whereby it would keep security control throughout the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), maintain its settlements, and continue to colonize.
But there continue to be obstacles in Israel’s path to legitimizing the occupation, which keep the door open for a Palestinian movement and strategy to secure rights and justice. It is no small feat that, during a period comprising half a century, not one state has formally endorsed Israel’s occupation of Palestinian — or Syrian — territory.
While European governments, for example, feared that doing so would endanger their relationships with others in region, they are also among the most committed to upholding a rules-based international order; the memories of the First and Second World Wars have not been forgotten. They thus cannot recognize Israel’s occupation even though they have failed to challenge Israel in the same way they have confronted the Russian occupation of Crimea.