Washington, August 30 - The Palestinian push for state recognition at the UN is less about peacemaking and more aimed at isolating Israel in the international community, an Israeli parliamentarian said Tuesday morning.
“This move will merely allow the conflict into a new arena,” Member of Knesset Einat Wilf told reporters at a briefing organized by the Israel Project.
“In order to have a proper state…you will need to negotiate with Israel,” Wilf, represents Haatzmaut, or “Independence,” faction, said.
Wilf is on a four-day speaking tour in Washington, D.C. and New York sponsored by The Israel Project, where she is speaking to journalists, diplomats, and leaders about major issues in Israel and the region.
The Palestinian leadership plans to approach the U.N. General Assembly in New York in late September to gain approval for a Palestinian state, rather than hammer out a two-state solution with Israel. Palestinian officials have spent the past several months traveling the globe to drum up international support for their one-sided statehood bid.
Wilf said that this strategy is the latest Arab salvo in a perpetual bid to undermine Israel, and that Palestinian officials - as shown in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent New York Times Op-Ed - see this a compelling new basis from which to ramp up attacks on Israel. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Tuesday that the Israeli military is training Israeli citizens living beyond the 1967 lines on how to cope with expected Palestinian violence around the time of the U.N vote.
“Ultimately, it is a non-violent strategy with very violent purposes,” Wilf said.
However, Wilf praised Palestinian Authority President Salaam Fayyad for his practical work in creating the infrastructure for a future Palestinian state and for condemning what he has declared as unconstructive Palestinian efforts at the UN.
The former IMF economist “is truly the first Palestinian leader to stop focusing on what the Jews are doing and actually focus on how to build a Palestinian state,” Wilf said.
While Wilf serves in a different political party than current Prime Minister Netanyahu, she lauded him for presiding over one of quietest periods in Israel’s history.