Israel does not oppose Palestinian Authority statehood – but it must be reached through direct talks. That's the message being driven home repeatedly by every government official, and now by Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor as well.
On Friday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is set to submit the PLO application "demanding" that the United Nations Security Council recognize the PA as a sovereign, independent nation, and grant it full membership in the U.N. ranks. The U.S. has already said it will, if necessary, veto the resolution.
“Let's make one thing clear right at the outset,” Palmor said Wednesday in a statement to media. “Israel does not oppose Palestinian statehood. Israel wants peaceful coexistence, side by side with a future Palestinian state. But peace can only be reached through direct talks. There is simply no other way.”
Palmor's statement, delivered in a more relaxed, almost folksy style, still gets across the message that an agreement is just that: two people reaching one conclusion at the end of a discussion.
“A peace agreement, clearly, involves two parties who, well, agree between themselves on the terms for peace,” he said. “This goes without saying, but it goes much better if you say it,” he pointed out, with a gentle nudge at the PA side. “Because some people seem to have forgotten the obvious.”
He reminded reporters that Israel's previous government had agreed to open discussions with the Arab League on the so-called “Arab Peace Plan” – only to be snubbed. The Jewish State submitted a full-fledged comprehensive peace plan to the Palestinians, he said, only to be ignored.
“The current Israeli government agreed to make an important gesture to the Palestinians in order to resume negotiations, by imposing a 10 month moratorium on construction in settlements. The Palestinians refused to respond in kind, and never stopped complaining – first, that the gesture wasn't sufficient, and then that it wasn't prolonged,” he reminded.
“My message to my Palestinian neighbors is this: you can't evade the inevitable. You will not achieve peace and statehood without Israel,” Palmor warned.
“You can't pretend we do not exist, or that you can do without us. We have to talk. Negotiations will not be easy. We're in for some arduous, laborious, tortuous work. But there is simply no other way if you truly aim for peace.
“No conditions, no taboos – let's just sit down and talk.”