(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Mass Palestinian demonstrations, with the potential to devolve into violence,
are a likely result of the UN vote on Palestinian statehood, Kadima MK Yohanan
Plesner said on Monday.
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Plesner, who initiated and led the compilation of
the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s classified report on the
Palestinian statehood bid, gave The Jerusalem Post his assessment of the
upcoming vote’s ramifications.
“There is a dangerous gap between the
Palestinian public’s expectations [from the bid] and what they will see in
reality, which can create disappointment,” Plesner explained. “The Palestinian
Authority is not interested in an escalation – it is busy building a
“The PA is working on hundreds of projects in Judea and Samaria
meant to build government institutions, such as a functioning judicial
However, Plesner pointed out, while there is no interest in
violence, there is potential for an eruption.
“The PA would not oppose
and may even support non-violent protests, and the difference between
non-violent and violent protests is just a spark.
“There are enough
groups that are interested in violence, like Hamas or Islamic Jihad,” the Kadima
MK explained. “As far as Israelis are concerned, there may be ‘price tag’
attacks by radical elements in Judea and Samaria.
“If Palestinians are
demonstrating in Ramallah, that’s fine. The problem arises when the protesters
reach points of friction,” such as settlements or the security barrier, he said.
“There is no good reason that we should become the center of attention when most
of the protests [in the Middle East] are directed at dysfunctional
In addition, should the Palestinian statehood bid succeed, the
newly-declared Palestinian state could join UN institutions.
Ministry recently and belatedly began in-depth legal research of what will
happen if the PA joins UN organizations,” the Kadima MK explained. “It is sure
to have a negative influence on Israel’s vital interests. But Palestinian
membership in the International Criminal Court or the International
Telecommunications Union could have practical results.”
A less immediate
result of a UN vote in favor of Palestinian statehood, he said, is that will put
Israel at a disadvantage in future peace talks.
“We don’t know the exact
wording of the Palestinian declaration that will be brought to a vote, but we
know they are interested in the recognition of a state on ’67
“The moment states accept that, it will become the basis of
future negotiations – as opposed to Obama’s outline, which included swapping
settlement blocs – and the Palestinians’ appetite for unilateral steps will
grow,” he added. “Our interests will no longer be considered.”
is losing patience with this conflict.
We cannot afford to look like
we’re at a deadlock,” Plesner said.
On Sunday, the Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee voted against the report, with coalition members in the
committee saying it was politically motivated, which Plesner and committee
chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) denied.
“One of the Knesset’s main roles is
to supervise the executive branch,” Plesner explained. “This is a classic
example of that. We worked on this for months, and most of the findings are not
“This report is worthy of acceptance without any
connection to coalition or opposition matters,” he concluded.