Monday, October 24, 2011

The Carrot and the Stick - Prosor to UNSC: Direct talks essential; Lieberman: Abbas is hurdle to peace

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the UN Security Council Monday that direct negotiations and hard work will be essential to creating harmony in the Middle East. In a frank address, Prosor said that Arab countries are more prone to making excuses than peace.
“The choice before us is clear – and it has never been more critical to make the right choice for the future of the Middle East and all its inhabitants, It is time for this Council to stop ignoring the destructive forces that seek to keep the Middle East in the past, so that we can seize the promise of a brighter future.” 
“Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu stood in this hall last month and issued a clear call to President Abbas, Let me reiterate that call today to the Palestinians. Sit down with Israel. Leave your preconditions behind. Start negotiations now.”

Foreign Minister Lieberman took a harder stance, labeling Abbas as “the biggest obstacle to an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and us.”

Speaking to the media prior to a discussion on Wednesday with the Quartet – the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations – the plain-speaking and often outspoken Foreign Minister declared, “The moment that they [the Palestinian Authority] receive an independent country, there will be Kassam rockets on Kfar Saba and Herzliya [parts of metropolitan Tel Aviv] within a year.
"The question is if we will see them over Gush Dan, and the answer is, yes – not 100 percent, but 200 percent. 
“If we reach a stable agreement with the Palestinian Authority, I am prepared to go with it, but right now all that I see is the opposite. The moment that they receive an independent country, there will be Kassam rockets.”
Lieberman charged that Abbas is threatened by what he “sees happening to all of his colleagues – Qaddafi, Mubarak and others… This is not just a threat – it also is a blessing [because] anyone who follows him would be better."