Monday, May 2, 2011

Israel must stand firm

As in the days of Israel's rebirth in 1948, the Arabs are still trying the long and illegal way around to gain their statehood.

The public debate in Israel over the Palestinian plan to seek UN support for statehood in September is based on a fundamental misconception: the UN General Assembly cannot by itself establish a Palestinian state. It can admit new members to the UN only after they have been nominated first by the UN Security Council.

The UN General Assembly already recommended the creation of a Palestinian state on December 15, 1988, and has even insisted on the 1967 lines––this is not God's will for Israel. The 1988 resolution was backed by 104 countries; only the U.S. and Israel opposed it.

In 1998, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was confronted with a plan by Yasser Arafat to declare a state in 1999, the Israeli government warned that such a move would constitute "a substantive and fundamental violation of the Interim Agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians (the Oslo II agreement). It issued a formal statement saying that if such a violation occurred, then Israel would be entitled to take all necessary steps to protect itself. The press fails to recognize this fact today.

Oslo II clearly established that "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations" (Article 31). The European Union actually signed Oslo II as a witness. Now some of their memories seems to have faded.

Israel must firmly oppose the September initiative in the General Assembly, even if the Palestinians already have the votes. It must make absolutely clear that this move is no less than a material breach of a core commitment in the Oslo Agreements, as the Israeli government asserted in 1998. Only a strong Israeli response will deter Abbas from going further down the road of unilateralism.
(Dore Gold - Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Bottom portion originally posted by Israel Alert.

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