(photo credit: Knesset Channel)
The Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee (FADC) met Monday morning to discuss preparedness
for a UN declaration recognizing an independent Palestinian state slated
for September. Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev
painted a grim picture of Israel's standing in the UN, saying Israel has
"hit a record low" that "began with Operation Cast Lead."
called the Palestinian move towards UN recognition of their state an
"intermediate goal," and one that seeks "to destroy [Israel] before the
international community." Shalev concluded that Israel must take pointed
diplomatic and political strides in order to persuade countries that
"the one-sided declaration is an approach that will not bring benefit to
the Palestinians and certainly hurt the peace process."
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Sharvit, former head of the International Law Department of the
IDF, stressed that despite concern over what the declaration may do to
Israel in the international community, between Israel and the
Palestinians, "The declaration does not cancel all pre-existing
agreements signed and implemented. She stressed that the focus should be
what would change in the future as a result of the declaration.
A real example of the implications of the UN Security Council
resolution, Sharvit said, was that "the settlements will become occupied
territories belonging to the Palestinian state." This means that an
"occupied" area "will belong to an actual state recognized
Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy said that Israel could in no way sign
any permanent agreement, concluding however that Israel will need to
conduct talks on the notion that "the settlement is not final... not an
ultimate solution; perhaps a step on the way." Halevy added that a final
settlement will not materialize without negotiations.
Labor MK Amir Peretz confronted the committee members, challenging
them to ponder to what lengths they will go to reach any final
settlement with or without negotiations. He stressed that "the price for
peace in the Middle East is very, very expensive," adding that any
solution would require compromise and concessions.
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