Gamal Helal, a former diplomat and senior US government interpreter, has had a different experience in criticizing Israeli and US policies for peacemaking. He is one of the key figures that was in a position to listen to the negotiators' concerns throughout his tenure working at the White House.
Speaking during the Alghad Middle East Forum 2019, Helal said that the so-called “deal of the century” is a complicating factor to the conflict and does not bear a creative approach to resolving a crisis that is over 70 years-old.
Helal supported the views of Palestinian leader Mohammed Dahlan on the dangers of the US’ Middle East peace plans, overseen by Trump’s advisor Jared Kushner and his team, warning that "if the deal of the century leads to more lost hopes for peace then it will have the opposite effect and threaten peace in the region."
Helal stressed that "extending the deadline on the Palestinian issue will change the equation and a one-state solution will become the only option."
“The elements of peace are not optimistically conducive and do not contribute to resolving the Palestinian issue, in fact the Palestinian people feel deprived of their fundamental rights," Helal said.
He stressed that unless the Palestinian people can achieve these rights, all peace efforts will remain stalled.
The speakers agreed on common grounds, at one of Britain's most prestigious political forums, in terms of logistical settings and increased audience interaction, in spite of the apparent disparity between the views and approaches of the forum’s esteemed panelists.
This, in itself, is evidence that the divergence of views regarding the Middle East crisis can be seen as a hot topic, but it can also be fruitful.