Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, on Thursday night spoke at the UN General Assembly, shortly after it overwhelmingly approved a resolution allowing the Palestinian flag to be raised at its headquarters in New York.
In what was his final speech at the UN before he is replaced as ambassador by Danny Danon, Prosor denounced the resolution and called on UN to tell the Palestinians “enough” and stop letting them get away with using the international body as a means to bypass peace talks.
“In my time here, I have seen the Palestinians use and abuse the UN, time and again. The sad part is: that you allow them to get away with it. You must make it clear to the Palestinians that the only way to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations,” he said.
“As long as the Palestinians believe they can achieve their political goals without making concessions, they will continue to avoid taking the difficult decisions needed for peace,” added Prosor.
“The real question we face today is not whether the Palestinians will raise a flag, but whether the UN will raise a white flag, and surrender the principles of this institution,” he continued.
“I look forward to the day the flags of our two peoples will be raised side by side, and Israelis and Palestinians live together in peace. However, instead of trying to guide the Palestinians down the path to peace, you are helping them to ride right off the tracks.”
“You must tell the Palestinians: Enough with empty symbols, enough with political showmanship, enough with hijacking the UN agenda. Stop stalling, and start negotiating,” Prosor said.
Unsurprisingly, the resolution passed in Thursday’s vote with an overwhelming majority, with 119 countries voting in favor, 8 voting against, and 45 abstaining.
Among the countries that voted against were Israel, Canada, and the United States.
The draft resolution presented last week to the General Assembly would allow the flags of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and of the Holy See to be hoisted alongside those of the 193 member states.
Both the Vatican and "Palestine" have non-member observer status at the United Nations. But while the Vatican has largely supported the PA and even the concept of Palestinian statehood, it has vehemently and repeatedly opposed the PA's inclusion of the Vatican in its fight to have the flag raised in the UN.
The UN now has 20 days to implement the move, which would be in time for a visit by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on September 30.