Israel’s truths, and omissions, on vote for Palestine state

Now that most Latin American and Caribbean countries have announced that they  will join Islamic nations in voting for the creation of a Palestine state along  the 1967 borders at the United Nations General Assembly later this month, the  proposed motion is almost certain to pass by a comfortable majority of at least  120 votes.

With the exception of Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala,  whose votes have not yet been announced, Latin American countries — led by  Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela — have come out strongly in support of the  Palestinian motion.

So what’s wrong with the U.N. voting for creation of a Palestinian state, I  asked Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in a recent interview.

Ayalon responded that creation of a Palestinian state should be the  result of negotiations between Israel and  Palestinians, and not imposed by the  outside world. That’s the way South Sudan was created recently, and the way  former Soviet states were created in the 1990’s: first reaching agreements with  their neighbors,  then going to the United Nations for recognition, he said.

“The only solution can come through negotiations between the two parties,” Ayalon said. “You cannot turn things on its head.”

Palestinian leaders say they have no alternative because Israel is not  willing to negotiate, I noted. Furthermore, they argue that getting a U.N.  resolution does preclude them negotiating later, I added.

“It’s an oxmymoron,” Ayalon responded. “It’s a resolution that they will  dictate because they have an automatic majority at the U.N. It will set the  terms (of the issues in dispute) according to their own capricious wills. It  will lock the Palestinians into an intransigent position, and they will not  negotiate.”

But what other option do they have, if Israel doesn’t make concessions? I  asked.

“We have been doing a lot, and we are willing to do more,” he said, citing  the fact that since negotiations started in 1992, Israel helped create the  Palestinian Authority, supported it economically, and returned 42 percent of the  West Bank, and 100 percent of the Gaza strip.“Everybody is asking what Israel is  willing to do, but nobody is asking what the Palestinians are willing to  do.”

What should they do? I asked.

“They should give up what they call ‘the right of return’ of Palestinian  refugees to Israel. Refugees should go back to their own state. Why are we  creating for the first time in history a Palestinian state? So they have a state  for the Palestinians,” he responded.

Second, Palestinians should reach an agreement with Israel on borders so that  Israel is not attacked anymore, he said. Third, the two sides should reach an  agreement on Jerusalem, he said.

“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,” Ayalon  said. “Jerusalem is mentioned in our Judeo-Christian Bible 700 times, and not  one single time in the Quran.”

I suggested to Ayalon that a U.N. General Assembly resolution would be  largely symbolic, because only U.N. Security Council resolutions are binding,  and the Obama administration has already said it would veto it at the Council.  So what’s the big deal? I asked.

“The big deal is that by bridging agreements — the Oslo agreements — that we  will not go to the United Nations, but solve our problems through bilateral  negotiations, they are choosing conflict and friction over cooperation and  negotiation,” Ayalon said.

My Opinion: Ayalon conveniently plays down the fact that Israel’s hard-line  government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making negotiations harder by  continuing to expand settlements in Arab territories.

But Ayalon is right in saying that a U.N. proposal to create a Palestinian  state along the Palestinian terms — which would allow 4.5 million Palestinians,  most of them descendants of 1940’s refugees, to move back to Israel’s territory — would be an indirect way of destroying Israel as a Jewish state.

If the U.N. General Assembly votes for a resolution supporting the general  concept of creating a Palestinian state, so that Palestinians can have their  much-deserved homeland, it should be supported by everybody. But if it doesn’t  recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and includes the  Palestinian demands for “the right of return” of refugees, it will amount to  supporting the slow-motion destruction of the state of Israel, and should not be  supported by any country.

( www.miamiherald.com /14.09.2011)

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