Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member, expressed on Wednesday her gratitude and appreciation to the French government for its initiative to organize an international peace conference of foreign ministers and diplomats in Paris on January 15, and “for putting the Palestinian issue back on the global agenda.”
“Nevertheless,” Ashrawi noted, “it is evident that Israel and its proxies managed to water down the Joint Declaration and weaken its effectiveness. The Declaration omitted any reference to the creation of the Palestinian state on 1967 borders and restricted that “to ending the occupation that began in 1967 which does not necessarily conflate with the boundaries of the state.”
“Such an ambiguity enables Israel to circumvent UN resolutions and to violate the basic requirements for peace. We cannot accept such backsliding as it is inconsistent with the Participants’ intentions to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
— Nathalia Feinberg (@DKRepPAL) January 17, 2017
“The Palestinian acceptance of 1967 borders (22% of historical Palestine) was an extremely painful concession, and it should not be subject to negotiations or modification,” she continued as saying.
Here are parts of Ashrawi’s statement:
“The Declaration further creates a false symmetry between the belligerent occupier and a vulnerable nation under occupation by allocating equal blame to “both sides.” Israel as the powerful party, which is responsible for violations of international law and human rights must be held to account, and its violations must be curbed. By repeatedly blaming the Palestinians for “incitement” and using the label of “all acts of violence and terror,” the Declaration creates a misleading equivalence and a stereotypical smear.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 15, 2017
“Absent effective follow-up mechanisms with the responsibilities of arbitration, monitoring and evaluation, and concrete engagement, the outcome of the Conference becomes just another verbal exercise. The one-year framework within which to meet again mainly provides Israel with ample time to continue to create its unilateral facts on the ground and to destroy the declared objectives of this exercise, which is the two-state solution. Again, “negotiations” are not an objective but a means to an end, and it would be wise to draw the proper conclusions from the lessons learned after twenty-six years of bilateral negotiations that have merely entrenched the occupation and placed the two-state solution in serious jeopardy.”
“We regret the unfortunate stance of the British and Australian governments, as well as the UK going so far as to prevent the EU Foreign Affairs Council from adopting the Declaration. Instead of rectifying its historical responsibility for the tragedy of Palestine, the UK is compounding its culpability by undermining initiatives, however modest, that try to bring about a two-state solution. This is further cause for alarm given the rise of populism in the U.S. and in Europe and the strident declarations concerning the annexation of Jerusalem and illegal settlements in Palestine. Such common language between the new governments in the U.S. and the UK does not bode well for peace at all and undermines the stability and security of an already volatile region.”
(PNN, PC, Social Media)