TEL AVIV, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert H. Serry, told nearly 200 audience members at Tel Aviv University today that if the peace process does not happen in the next few months, it would be the end of the two-state solution.
Not restarting the peace process soon will once again make Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas resort to the U.N., triggering an increase in negative responses by Israel, he said at the OneVoice Israel sponsored event.
Coming on eve of President Barack Obama's trip to the region, Serry noted that the international community must be supportive of a U.S.-led process and give the Quartet back some of its lost relevance. He said that while Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad made progress after Annapolis to build a Palestinian state, he now considers it an empty achievement.Based on his acquaintance with Israeli Foreign Minister and newly-designated Justice Minister Tzipi Livini and her commitment to a real two-state solution, Serry considers this an opportunity for serious negotiations to unfold. Serry mentioned the "do's and don'ts" for Israel in order for the peace process to restart. "Don'ts" include IDF incursions into Area A, house demolitions, and settlement expansion. "Do's" include fulfilling the commitments by Israel to reach a real two-state solution as already laid down by the Oslo Accords. Serry said when these are not followed, the meaning of negotiations is emptied. Gaza was also a topic of conversation. Serry explained that there cannot be a "three-state solution," but there is a bit of hope. He argued that last November's escalation of violence was stopped by what seems to be a very stable ceasefire with the help of Egyptian mediation by an Egyptian government that supports the two-state solution. Serry told the audience that Palestinian negotiations with Israel would have to include reconciliation between Palestinian factions, including the ruling factions, Fatah and Hamas. Uri Ariel, designated Minister of Housing and current member of The Jewish Home Party, said [we] will support reconciliation which shall be done right - based on the two-state solution. He said that Israel is not going to be able to fulfill its great potential to play the role in the U.N. as long as the conflict goes on, and he is afraid Israel will instead suffer from increasing isolation. OneVoice seeks to amplify the voices of average Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward a two-state solution. The Movement works to forge consensus and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people to hold their leadership accountable for establishing a negotiated, comprehensive, and permanent agreement that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides, and solves all final-status issues in accordance with international law and previous bilateral agreements. OneVoice focuses on civic engagement, youth leadership training, and public awareness campaigns to empower the grassroots to exercise their rights – and responsibility – to demand change and a peaceful future.