B’nai B’rith: EU leaders’ call for recognition of Palestinian state before negotiations outrageous and unacceptable
B’nai B’rith International is outraged that French and Spanish foreign ministers are calling for European Union recognition of a Palestinian state outside of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.The declaration by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos that the European Union should not wait for negotiations between the two parties is outrageous and unacceptable. While there can be a role for outside parties to encourage negotiations, they must be part of face to face discussions between Israel and the Palestinians. Outside parties must work in conjunction with Israel and the Palestinians.
“Calls to recognize a Palestinian state absent negotiations are a non-starter,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “Such a proposal puts counterproductive pressure on the Israeli government.”
It is imperative that negotiations not exclude Israel from the process and any agreement must not be in contravention to the 1993 Oslo Accords, which call for a negotiated settlement.
The Kouchner-Moratinos plan also minimizes threats to Israel’s security. “Israel’s very real and very legitimate security concerns must be addressed at the negotiating table,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. “A unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would not adequately account for the security threats Israel faces every day and in the future.”
The challenge of negotiating a two-state solution grows ever greater as the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected every overture Israel has offered. The only way a two-state solution will work is for Israel and the Palestinians to sit down together.