UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks, predicting the current pro-Palestinian diplomatic wave will only get stronger.
Israel National News reports that Ban predicted that the recent trend of countries recognizing the “state of Palestine” will only grow.
Speaking before a UN Committee on Palestinian rights, Ban pressed both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to “step back from the brink” and return to the negotiating table.
“The Israeli and Palestinian people face a shared fate on shared land. There is no erasing the other,” Ban said.
Ban placed the blame for the failure to find a political solution in the Middle East on the international community. “We, as the international community, must assume responsibility for what is a collective failure to advance a political solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Ban. “The mindless cycle of destruction must end. The virtuous circle of peace must begin.”
He pointed out that recently, several governments and European parliaments have taken action to recognize a Palestinian state, and that the momentum of the pro-Palestinian movement is only getting stronger.
In the past two months alone, a number of European countries have moved to recognize a state of Palestine.
In October, the British House of Commons voted to pass a resolution to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.” The motion was not binding on the British government.
On October 30, the Swedish government declared that it was officially recognizing the state of Palestine. That recognition was roundly criticized by both Israel and the US, who take the position that recognition should come only after a negotiated peace is agreed to, and that premature recognition rewards Palestinian rejectionism.
Nevertheless, even in recent days, the Spanish parliament also passed a motion calling on the government of Spain to recognize a Palestinian state, and the French parliament scheduled an upcoming vote on whether the French government should recognize the state of Palestine, as well.