Netanyahu: Palestinian statehood bid at UN bound to fail


Prime Minister says Palestinians bound to ‘come to their senses’ and return to the negotiation table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that “the Palestinians’ wish to become a permanent UN member… is bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council.” He said that even though the Palestinians can opt to turn to the general assembly, “it does not have the same significance of the Security Council, and that is not the Palestinians’ stated goal.”

Netanyahu decided last week to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid.

According to Netanyahu, the purpose of his visit to the UN is to make sure that the Palestinian “move to circumvent negotiations does not succeed, and… to present our truth, which is that we are not foreigners and we have rights going back 4,000 years.”

Netanyahu added that “we are ready to enter negotiations if the Palestinians want to. At the end of the day I believe that after the smoke clears the Palestinians will come to their senses and sit down for negotiations that will bring peace for us and our neighbors.”

“Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel, a statement released by the prime minister’s office said on Friday, accusing the Palestinian Authority of consistently avoiding talks with Israel.

It concluded saying “when the Palestinian Authority will abandon its futile measures, firstly its unilateral decision to approach the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for negotiations and peace.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.

He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Palestinian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity.

Netanyahu–”US veto will halt Palestinian state bid”
Netanyahu tells weekly cabinet meeting he’s not worried about General Assembly: “It is possible to pass any resolution there.”

Palestinians efforts to be accepted as a full member of the United Nations will fail because such a move must go through the Security Council, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, adding that he is convinced the United States will veto such a move.

Referring the possibility that the Palestinians may seek a resolution in the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu played down the significance of such a vote but admitted that any resolution could be passed in that body.

“It is possible to decide there that the sun rises in the West and sets in the East, and this would pass there,” he said, “But it has neither the same weight nor the same importance.”

The prime minister was scheduled to leave later this week for the United States in order to meet with US President Barack Obama and address the General Assembly.

He said that his trip to the United Nations has two goals: to “present our truth … our desire for peace,” and to ensure that the Palestinian statehood bid does not serve to bypass peace negotiations or succeed in the Security Council.

Discussing his UN speech, the prime minister noted that “the UN is not a place where Israel wins praise, but I think that it is important that I go there in order to represent both the State of Israel and the truth – and the truth is that Israel wants peace and the truth is that the Palestinians are doing everything to torpedo direct peace negotiations.”

In addition to Netanyahu’s trip, a flurry of intense diplomatic activity to prevent the Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations this week is expected to take place in the next few days.

Envoys from the Middle East Quartet will meet on Sunday in New York as part of this last-ditch effort.

( / 18.09.2011)

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