Symbolic UN Vote is the Wrong Way to Palestinian Statehood
Today’s vote in the UN General Assembly giving the Palestinians status as a non-member observer state was a regrettable distraction from efforts to bring about negotiations with Israel, the only path to legitimate statehood and peace, said the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
“We would like to be congratulating and warmly welcoming UN recognition of a Palestinian state; not just as a non-member observer state, but as a full member of the world body. But as Israel, the United States, and the Quartet have asserted time and again, a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only come about through direct negotiations between the parties, not unilateral and symbolic steps at the UN,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “We hope that President Abbas - who disregarded pleas from President Obama and others to avoid this counterproductive path - will not seek to take advantage of this new status to continue or expand the diplomatic offensive against Israel. Of particular concern is possible use by the Palestinians of the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice as weapons against Israel. Instead Mr. Abbas should accept Israel's longstanding invitation to negotiate without any preconditions.”
“Palestinian statehood must be achieved in a way that ensures the security of Israel if there is to be lasting peace and shared prosperity,” said JCPA Chair Larry Gold. “This will be reached at a negotiating table, not in the halls of the UN in New York. In the meantime, as a stable Palestinian partner remains a prerequisite for progress toward peace, we hope Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's promising efforts to create a security apparatus and successful economy in the West Bank, which can sustain a future state negotiated with Israel, will continue to receive support.”