Bustling ambassador to UN warns of impending PA vote

Prosor: Israel not against Palestinian state, but this is not right way forward; Salam Fayyad hopes for UN support after vote, not just before.

September 21, 2011 03:50
3 minute read.
UN Ambassador Ron Prosor

UN ambassador Ron Prosor USE THIS_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor could not be busier this week, as the prospective Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood looms over the United Nations General Assembly.

Prosor, from his standpoint in the non-placid eye of the hurricane, mentioned the elements of the situation that have not received adequate attention from the press.

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He cited Sunday’s UN Palestinian Donor Conference in response, saying the meeting revealed some of the unpleasant ground-level truths about the Israeli-Palestinian future after Friday, should Abbas go through with his plans for UN recognition.

“In the donor conference, you could really see what the significance of unilateral steps would be,” Prosor said, referencing the 40 spheres of Israeli cooperation with the Palestinians – collaborative efforts in humanitarian, economic, health and agricultural areas – derived from the Oslo agreements, the interim agreements of 1995 as well as the Paris agreements on taxation and customs. “If something is going to be directly hurt from a Palestinian unilateral step, it’s exactly those positive endeavors.”

On Sunday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned the UN Palestinian Donors Conference that while Israel would prefer to continue to facilitate Palestinian economic development, this could change if the Palestinians opt to unilaterally declare a state.

“Let’s pull back for a second,” Prosor said. “What does any Israeli citizen have when we sign a peace agreement? When we sign a peace agreement with Egypt, we give tangibles and get a piece of paper, which we cherish.

With the Oslo Agreements, we signed a piece of paper, and that’s a document that the Israeli public takes very seriously.”

If there is noncompliance with a bilaterally signed peace agreement, Prosor said, “the other side loses confidence and loses the feeling that we can really sit down and do business together in the long run.” At the Palestinian Donor Conference, Prosor said, “what was going to be jeopardized was obvious on the table.”

Prosor also diplomatically noted the differences between Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

“The prime minister is usually the one that is able to call the shots. I don’t have to tell you that internal debate is part and parcel of a coalition government, but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, Fayyad is in the center of trying to build institutions that are the foundational structures for a future Palestinian state.”

In terms of the countries at Sunday’s conference who are donors to the Palestinians, Prosor said, he personally has been talking to “ambassador after ambassador” for the last four months, telling them, ‘You vote for it – you own it.’ “You vote for it, you own it – what do I mean by that?” Prosor said. “I mean, don’t say you didn’t know. If you raise your hand and support something that is unilateral, which is not going to be constructive for peace, you’re raising expectations, and then it will lead to violence and a crackdown. So don’t come up to us afterwards – you vote for it, you own it.

The responsibilities are yours also.

“We’re not against the Palestinian state, but this is not the right way forward,” Prosor said.

“South Sudan became the 193rd member state. Do they like Sudan? No. There was much bloodshed, much sweat and many tears. But they sat down. It wasn’t easy, and it took a while, and when they finished and talked to each other they came to the UN.

“Ramallah to Jerusalem is much shorter than the distance between the West Bank and the UN. Talk to us in a dialogue. To try to circumvent that is not going to be constructive."

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