Danon: Palestinians must get only 'Facebook state'
Likud MK says Israel must initiate a public diplomacy counter-attack and enlist overseas Jewry to the struggle against recognition of state.
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
Israel needs to make Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s “fear come true – that the Palestinian state will be no more than a ‘Facebook state,’ MK Danny Danon (Likud) told the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee on Tuesday.The panel met to discuss Israel’s response to the recent recognition of a Palestinian state by Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.Danon, its chairman, said that Israel must initiate a public diplomacy counter-attack and enlist overseas Jewry to the struggle.“In the international ring there are no vacuums, and there is fevered activity by the Palestinians. We need to make Salam Fayyad’s fear come true – that the Palestinian state will be no more than a ‘Facebook state’ and that the support it gets from the world is no more than a ‘like.’” Danon said that although Israel does not tell Diaspora communities how to act, they should understand on their own and initiate activities, protests and writing campaigns.The Foreign Ministry must help enlist the Jewish communities to active public diplomacy efforts, he said.Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon emphasized that overseas Jewry is part of the Jewish state’s line of defense – and that Israel belongs to every Jew worldwide.“The Palestinians have no interest in negotiations, but they blame Israel for forgoing them, while at the same time, they advance a unilateral solution according to their maximalist position,” he said.Ayalon told committee members that there is no danger in the recognition by the four South American states of a Palestinian state, because already in November 1988, then-PLO chairman Yasser Arafat declared the establishment of such a state in the pre- 1967 borders. Since then, 104 countries have recognized that state, but that has not helped the Palestinians, he said.“The Arabs don’t turn to states that are involved in the process or to those that have an interest in regional stability – but rather to distant countries.Even these states in South America have made their recognition dependant upon a negotiated solution and that the Palestinian state will be democratic, and thus the letters themselves have internal contradictions,” Ayalon said.“Any signature like that isn’t worth the paper it is written upon.“Israel will never hold negotiations with a gun held to its head, and nobody can decide for Israel what is important and what to insist upon,” he said. “Our goal is not to sign a piece of paper, but to achieve a fundamental change in the situation in the region. Not a peace for five years, but for five hundred years.”The Foreign Ministry, Ayalon told the committee, had informed the four South American states that their actions were in contradiction to agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians.The response received, according to Foreign Ministry representative Dorit Shavit, was surprising.The United States, she said, was surprised by Brazil’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state – as was Brazil’s own Foreign Ministry, which was kept in the dark about the move.Dan Diker, secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, warned that “today, the situation is different from ’88, because back then, the Arabs did not receive support from the United Sates and Europe, while today US President Barack Obama intends to establish a Palestinian state, and the former Spanish foreign minister, Javier Solana, also declared that he supports the unilateral establishment of a state.“The Jewish communities in those South American states are alarmed because there are also large and established Arab communities there – in Chile alone there are 350,000 Palestinians,” Diker said.
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