Palestinians Push Ahead With Bid for Statehood

Brush Aside Israeli Demands To Stop Diplomatic Push

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 05, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Palestinians will press ahead with a bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations, a senior official said on Monday, brushing off a request by Israel to halt the initiative.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has renewed his call for an immediate resumption of peace talks and has warned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against making any unilateral moves in the U.N. General Assembly.

“Yesterday I invited President Abbas to start direct negotiations without preconditions,” Netanyahu told Reuters television in Jerusalem, a day after repeating an appeal to the Palestinian leader for renewed dialogue

“Unfortunately, I have still not heard back from the Palestinian side … I hope they won’t go to one-sided action in the U.N. because that will only push peace back and will only produce unnecessary instability,” he said.

With the negotiations frozen since 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Abbas plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly this month to upgrade the Palestinian’s diplomatic status at the world body.

They are currently registered as an “observer entity”, but want to become an “observer state”, granting them access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court, where they could file complaints against Israel.

Commenting on Netanyahu’s call to talk now, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said any direct talks must await the U.N. vote, which the Palestinians look certain to win in the face of Israeli and U.S. objection to the unilateral move.

“When we return from the U.N. General Assembly and are a non-member state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital, the way to direct negotiations will be open to achieve security and stability on this basis,” Abu Rdainah said.

Netanyahu has said a return to the lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a 1967 war would leave it with indefensible borders.

U.S. President Barack Obama drew Israeli ire last year when he called for the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state to be based on the 1967 boundaries with mutually agreed land swaps.

The United States has also firmly criticised Palestinian manoeuvring in the United Nations, saying it violates the 1993 Oslo accords, which were intended to pave the way to a “final status agreement” within five years.

Netanyahu’s latest comments on talks followed criticism from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and ex-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni - potential centrist opponents in Israel’s Jan. 22 general election - that he has not done enough to restart negotiations.

On Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres telephoned Abbas, a spokeswoman for Peres said, without disclosing any details of the conversation. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said the two men discussed the peace process.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.