Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
The long-awaited Quartet report on the Middle East was expected to be released early Thursday morning, with Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold saying the biggest danger facing Israel is if it creates a new narrative blaming Israel for the diplomatic logjam.
Gold, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, said such a narrative could create new international pressures on Israeli foreign policy.
“The Quartet report is an effort to look at the situation on the ground and see what can be done to preserve the option of a two-state solution,” he said. “The report’s importance is that it produces a new international narrative on why we are not solving this conflict.”
Gold said from an Israeli perspective there are two clear factors that have held up the diplomatic process.
The first has been Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and negotiate. “You can’t have a negotiated solution if there is no negotiations,” he said. “It is very simple.
The second reason is because of Palestinian incitement and violence. The Oslo process of 1993 “was predicated on the assumption that the parties were putting their hostile relationship behind them, that violence cannot coexist with the quest for peace,” he said.
But since then, he noted, successive governments had to deal with violence – first the suicide bombing in the heart of the country’s cities, then rockets from Gaza, and finally a new wave of incitement that led to the knifing attacks of the last several months.
Violence, he said, has become more prevalent despite the peace process, “and if you want to have a meaningful move toward a negotiated solution, you have to get the violence under control, and you have to get the incitement under control.”
Regarding the incitement, Gold termed “disgusting” the European Parliament giving a standing ovation to Abbas last week after he delivered a speech in which he charged that some rabbis were urging the government to poison the Palestinian water supply.
Acknowledging that the ovation came for the speech, not for the statement about poisoning the water, Gold asked, “How on earth can European parliamentarians applaud a statement that comes out of the deepest any-Semitic mythology of the Middle Ages?”
Abbas later issued a statement retracting his charge.
Earlier this week, Gold wrote a letter of protest to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, expressing his “great dismay” at the reception the speech received.