On Friday, October 5, Partners for Progressive Israel President Dina B. Charnin and Executive Director Ron Skolnik issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stuck in a dangerous state of atrophy, the diplomatic approach offered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN Security Council is worthy of consideration as a possible way forward.
Partners for Progressive Israel agrees with President Abbas that, ultimately, a durable and just two-state peace can only be achieved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
But there also is merit to Abbas’ argument that without clear terms of reference set by the international community as a framework for such negotiations, Israeli-Palestinian talks held in the shadow of unrelenting Israeli settlement expansion have little chance of producing a positive result and preventing the two-state solution’s demise.
We call on Prime Minister Netanyahu not to delude himself in the belief that the Occupation can long be swept under the carpet. Rather than ignoring the question of Palestine – as unfortunately was the case in his speech to the UN – and ceding the diplomatic initiative to others, the Prime Minister’s duty is to begin at once to engage with the Palestinian leadership and the international community over the outlines for a solution that will end the Occupation, assure Israel’s core interests, and rehabilitate its credentials as a force for regional peace.
Also worthy of consideration is Abbas’ suggestion that the State of Palestine be accepted by the General Assembly as a Non-Member State of the United Nations. The elevation of Palestine to the level of a state could help to reduce (if not eliminate) the asymmetry of power between Israel and the Palestinians that has hampered the negotiating process to date, and allow the sides to use the accepted tools of statecraft to engage with one another constructively.
Click here to read the rest of the Partners for Progressive Israel statement.