Palestinian Plan for Unilateral Statehood Declaration Endangers Peace in Middle East, Jewish Lawmakers Warn United Nations

Sep 09, 2011, 17:09 ET from World Jewish Congress

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, Sept. 9,2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of a critical move at the United Nations later this month which will have serious repercussions for Israel and the entire Middle East region, the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP) – a partner organization of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) – met this week with officials in New York City and in Washington D.C. to address the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). At the top of the agenda were the Palestinian efforts to win the endorsement of the UNGA for a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, the September 22nd Commemoration of the Durban Conference on Racism, and the illicit efforts by Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.

At a dinner meeting hosted by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, the delegation, chaired by Fiamma Nirenstein, MP, Italy, spoke frankly with U.N. ambassadors representing the Quartet, among them the Permanent Representatives of Russia, Poland, Germany, France, the head of the European Union delegation. MP Nirenstein said that, "The possibility of premature statehood for an entity that does not yet meet U.N. or other international criteria for being a state is unacceptable, in view of the absence of basic security conditions, financial viability, and the lack of an elected stable, peace-loving government. The phenomenon of Hamas control in Gaza is a source of deepest concern," she added, "since Hamas is recognized internationally as a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel."

The lawmakers held a press conference at the United Nations to make the case against what is a premature and self-defeating effort by the Palestinians to circumvent the peace process. WJC Secretary General Daniel Diker emphasized, "The fact is that if the United Nations indeed endorses this unilateral move, it would be contravening its own resolutions and abrogating all the previous peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which were signed and endorsed by UN member states. It would stymie any possibility for negotiation and undermine all the efforts of the Quartet, of which the United Nations is a key member, to bring the parties together."

The lawmakers met together with their counterparts in the U.S. House of Representatives for a private briefing with Ambassador Michael Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States on Capitol Hill. Ambassador Oren pointed out the unforeseen cataclysmic changes that have taken place in the Middle East in the past year. Only one year ago, he noted, a potentially promising meeting took place in the White House between Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, which was also attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was then an important interlocutor in the peace process. Oren observed that today we face a totally different situation. Many areas of the Middle East are in tumult, and Abbas has avoided all Israeli offers for direct talks and instead has unilaterally put the issue of Palestinian statehood on a track for U.N. endorsement, in violation of their agreement with Israel and with the United States, creating a situation that cannot bring peace and may result in creating far-reaching instability in a region already reeling with instability.

The lawmakers resolved to continue their efforts to oppose this initiative and, as well, to continue to discourage participation in the Commemoration of the Durban Conference.

The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians leadership delegation was comprised of the following (in alphabetical order):

Rep. Gary Ackerman, House of Representatives, USA

Mark Adler, MP, House of Commons, Canada

Irwin Cotler, MP, House of Commons, Canada

Michael Danby, MP, House of Representatives, Australia

Luis Fishman Zonzinski, MP, Legislative Assembly, Costa Rica

Janos Fonagy, MP, National Assembly, Hungary

MK Shai Hermesh, The Knesset, Israel

Lord Greville Janner, House of Lords, United Kingdom

Fiamma Nirenstein, MP, Chamber of Deputies, Italy

Floriano Pesaro, MP, Sao Paulo Municipal Council, Brazil

Viviane Teitelbaum, MP, Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium

About ICJP and the WJC
The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians brings together Jewish legislators, parliamentarians and government ministers from around the world, with the aim of promoting dialogue, upholding the principles of democracy, furthering the cause of human rights, promoting the rule of law, combating racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, terrorism and Holocaust denial, supporting Israel and contributing toward the creating of enduring peace in the Middle East.

Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1936, the World Jewish Congress is the leading international Jewish organization representing Jewish communities in 92 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments and international organizations.

SOURCE World Jewish Congress