15 Sep 2011 (All day)
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is deeply concerned with the Palestinian Authority’s petition for recognition of a state of Palestine at the United Nations Opening Assembly next week, and especially with the broad international acceptance this reckless and ill-conceived unilateral move is receiving.
While the exact language of the anticipated resolution for statehood is still uncertain, it is clear that the PA has chosen a dangerous path for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and even more so given the volatile political climate in the region. Both the stability of the Middle East and the integrity of the international order are at stake in this looming decision. Neither is worth risking in such a hasty and irresponsible manner, especially since Israel is fully prepared to discuss the very issues at stake directly with the PA in good faith and at any time.
Members of the international community are well aware that the accepted framework for resolving this conflict was set up in UN Security Council resolution 242, which was then expressly adopted as the basis of the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, the Oslo peace process entered in 1993, and the subsequent Roadmap and Annapolis negotiating formats. The Palestinian leadership agreed to this course for achieving a final peace settlement with Israel only through bilateral talks when they signed on to the Oslo Accords, which specifically prohibits either party from seeking to unilaterally alter the status of the disputed territories in the interim. The United States, European Union, Russia and the UN itself have all witnessed and/or formally adopted these guiding principles and must uphold them now or forfeit important moral and legal standards that define the modern global order.
The Middle East Quartet has demanded that for Hamas to gain a legitimate voice in the search for peace, it must – among other things – respect past agreements signed by the PLO. Yet now, key players within the Quartet itself are prepared to breach their very own pre-condition for being considered part of the circle of peace. By voting for a premature, unilateral Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, they are trampling on their own reputations for reliability and fairness.
More than 70 nations have been admitted as member states of the UN since the events of June 1967, with some of these nations arising out of very long and bitter conflicts. So gaining UN membership is not that difficult. But it should be made impossible when the bid for membership is actually designed to reignite and prolong a conflict or to eliminate another member state. Sadly, that remains the Palestinian aim at this time.
Dr Juergen Buehler serves as ICEJ Interim Executive Director. For more information please contact David Parsons in Jerusalem - or for USA-based media enquries contact Michael Hines or the ICEJ USA office on (615) 895-9830.