Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deputy FM: Settlement freeze historic opportunity - I hope the Arabs won't repeat the '47 mistake

(Ynet).Addressing the cabinet's recent decision to temporarily halt construction in the West Bank, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Sunday, "I hope the Arabs won't repeat the missed opportunity of November 29, 1947 Arabs and miss the chance to achieve peace yet again."

"(Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's decision to freeze the settlements is historic and unprecedented," Ayalon told a conference held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

"Today there is a real opportunity, which is no less important than UN Resolution 181 (called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine), to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The problem is that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity," he said.

"Since 1993 there has been an asymmetry in the concessions made by Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has given up on a lot, but the Palestinians have refused to budge and have not made any progress regarding Jerusalem, the refugees, the borders and the recognition of Israel (as a Jewish state)".

"Israel is determined to continue the peace process - but it takes two sides," said the deputy FM, "I call on the Palestinians to come to their senses and enter negotiations for peace."