by: Kate Norman
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 | The US and Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations urged the international body on Monday to take advantage of the unique opportunity for peace in the newfound normalization of ties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and now Sudan.
The UN should embrace the fresh peace momentum in order to “promote peace and security in the region,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said at the monthly UN meeting dedicated to the Israel–Palestinian conflict.
“For decades, many in the international community have fixated on a single solution to the conflict,” Erdan said in his first speech to the international body after replacing his predecessor, former Ambassador Dany Danon.
“They vote for the same anti-Israel resolutions, recycle old talking points and ignore issues that are crucial for ending the conflict,” Erdan continued. “They also ignore the fact that this approach has only emboldened Palestinian rejectionism.”
Erdan’s American counterpart, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, echoed his sentiments that the UN Security Council repeats “decades-old approaches to this conflict each month that go nowhere.”
“Within the UN,” Craft continued, “the United States continues to oppose the annual barrage of more than a dozen perennial resolutions against Israel—resolutions in which the text barely changes from year to year—a fact that underlines how habitual the UN’s attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians have become.”
Lauding US President Trump’s “Vision for Peace” proposal to end the Israel–Palestinian conflict, Craft urged the UN to support the new direction the Middle East is heading and called the Palestinians to shrug off their old policies of rejectionism and come to the negotiating table.
“The table has been set for two,” Craft said, “and peace is within reach.”
Instead, Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riad Malki blamed Israel—not the Palestinians—for the stagnancy in negotiations. Malki then echoed the same call that PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued in last month’s Council meeting for an international conference to negotiate a two-state solution.
Both the Israeli and US envoys dismissed that proposal as an effort to stall instead of engaging in direct bilateral discussions.
“How is this different than every other meeting convened on this issue over the past 60 years?” Ambassador Craft asked, while Ambassador Erdan charged that “Abbas wastes time calling for another useless conference.”
Instead, Craft challenged: “The United States has demonstrated for the first time in 25 years that a different approach to the situation in the Middle East can yield results. Today, because of American leadership, Israel is closer to its Arab neighbors than ever before; and its Palestinian, direct neighbors should take advantage of this positive momentum.
“History will judge how this Council responds to this historic moment—it can either shrink from the challenge or rise to the occasion,” Craft charged the international body.
Posted on October 27, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 27, 2020)
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