Ayalon: I hope that this time the Palestinians won’t miss the opportunity to establish a genuine peace.
(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon spoke today to past Israeli ambassadors to the UN at Hebrew University’s Harry S.Truman Institute for Peace. Minister Ayalon said, “Today, on November 29, we have a real opportunity, no less important than UN Resolution 181 [the Partition Plan] to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The problem is that the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. So I hope that this time the Palestinians won’t miss the opportunity to establish a genuine peace. Just as the resolution on November 29, 1947 was historic, so the decision of the Israeli government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu to freeze construction in the settlements is historic and unprecedented.”
The deputy foreign minister went on to say that since 1993 there has been a lack of symmetry in the concessions made by Israel and the Palestinians, respectively. Israel has given up a lot, but the Palestinians have entrenched themselves in their positions and have not progressed on the subject of Jerusalem, the refugees, borders, and recognition of the State of Israel [as a Jewish state]. Israel is determined to continue the peace process, but for that, two sides are needed.
A peace agreement is not a mere objective for Israel, Ayalon told his audience; it is a means to live in co-existence and peace. He called on the Palestinians to come to their senses, see what is for their own good and to begin negotiations towards peace.