Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Thursday that violence will not advance the Palestinian desire for statehood, and the U.N. also cannot grant the wish. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will speak before the United Nations today and make his case for U.N. approval for a separate state in the Middle East.
“”Well, I think violence is not going to get the Palestinians anywhere,” Barkat told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “Last time they tried, and both intifadas — both uprisings — it took them backwards.
“And I think that violence must get zero gains for people and also I think that going to the U.N. and trying to twist Israel’s arm through the U.N. — going to big brother — will not get a resolution to the conflict,” he said. “And it’s a very, very clear message: Stop violence — come to negotiate a good deal, not a bad deal, and you will find Israel is a great partner for coexistence in our region.”
Cavuto then asked Barkat whether Israel’s souring relations with Turkey, and recent violent incidents at Jerusalem’s embassy in Cairo, are signs that things are going from bad to worse in the region.
“Well, it is unfortunate— I think trying to bend our arm will not work — Israel is committed to seek peace; we teach that at schools,” Barkat said.”We are not violent — we try to defend ourselves whenever people try to hit us.
“And hopefully the U.N. — and thanks to the U.S. government that understands not to push this region to a bad deal — I believe and hope for better times, that the world will understand that it is not through arm-twisting,” he said. “It’s through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that will resolve the problem.”
Barkat also said that he was “proud” that the United States and the U.N. allowed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak before the international body.
“Well, first of all, I’m proud of the U.N. and the U.S. for letting him speak. It’s a democracy [that] will not be allowed in his state, unfortunately, for his people,” Barkat said. “And it shows the huge difference and huge gaps between the values of Israel and the United States and the people like Ahmadinejad.
“I really believe that the world must understand that to get peace in our region, you come and have to train your kids for peace, not to commit suicide,” he said. “You have to come with an open heart and understand that there is a Jewish state and there is the Arab state next to it and we seek peace — and not through speeches like Ahmadinejad had, you gain peace.”
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