Support for the Palestinian bid for statehood in the United Nations spells instability and violence for the Middle East, Israel's UN envoy said in an address before the UN Security Council, adding that the only path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is through direct negotiations.
Calling the move a "unilateral initiative," Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said the initiative would only raise unrealistic expectations that would eventually lead to "instability and potentially, violence."
"Members of the international community should be clear about their responsibilities: You vote for it, you own it. All those who vote for unilateral recognition will be responsible for its consequences," Prosor added.
The Israeli envoy also rejected the notion that Israel's settlement activities were the main obstacle to Mideast peace, saying that "our conflict was raging for nearly a half century before a single settlement sprung up in the West Bank."
"From 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was part of Jordan, and Gaza was part of Egypt. The Arab World did not lift a finger to create a Palestinian state. And it sought Israel’s annihilation when not a single settlement stood anywhere in the West Bank or Gaza," he added, saying that "issue of settlements will be worked out over the course of negotiations, but the primary obstacle to peace is not settlements."
Instead, Prosor suggested the main obstacle for Mideast peace was the "Arab world’s refusal to acknowledge the Jewish People’s ancient connection to the Land of Israel — and the Palestinian’s insistence on the so-called right of return."
"Today the Palestinian leadership is calling for an independent Palestinian state, but insists that its people return to the Jewish state," Prosor said, adding that such a "proposition that no one who believes in the right of Israel to exist could accept because the only equation in political science with mathematical certainty is that the so-called right of return equals the destruction of the State of Israel."
"The idea that Israel will be flooded with millions of Palestinians is a non-starter. The international community knows it. The Palestinian leadership knows it. But the Palestinian people aren’t hearing it. This gap between perception and reality is the major obstacle to peace. The so-called right of return is the major hurdle to achieving peace," he added.
Consequently, the Israeli UN envoy urged the international community to reject the Palestinian bid for statehood, saying that the only true path to peace had to be direct negotiations, instead of an imposed solution.
"Israel’s peace with Egypt was negotiated, not imposed. Our peace with Jordan was negotiated, not imposed. Israeli-Palestinian peace must be negotiated. It cannot be imposed," he said, adding that the "Palestinian’s unilateral action at the United Nations is no path to real statehood. It is a march of folly."
Abdullah's comments came just as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman severely criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling him the "greatest obstacle" to Mideast peace.
"If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]," he said. "If he were to return the keys and resign, it would not be a threat, but a blessing."
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