US Ambassador to the UN Sudan Rice said Thursday after the General Assembly vote that recognized Palestine as an observer state that the resolution "does not establish that Palestine is a state."
"Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded," she remarked.
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Rice stressed that the only way to achieve a two-state solution is through direct negotiations. "There simply are no short cuts. Long after the votes have been cast, it is the Palestinians and the Israelis who must still talk to each other—and listen to each other—and find a way to live side by side in the land they share."
Susan Rice at General Assembly (Photo: AFP)
"Progress toward a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button here in this hall. Nor does passing any resolution create a state where none indeed exists or change the reality on the ground. "
The prime minister's bureau issued a statement in response to the vote. "This is a meaningless resolution that will change nothing on the ground. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that there will be no Palestinian state without a settlement that guarantees the security of all Israeli citizens.
"He won't allow an Iranian terror hub to be established in Judea in Samaria in addition to those in Gaza and Lebanon. The road to peace between Jerusalem and Ramallah is through direct negotiations without preconditions and not through unilateral decisions."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, "Abu Mazen's speech proved that he is an enemy who has no desire for peace. His hateful speech explained why Abu Mazen will not bring progress to his people; he will continue to use them to further his own ends, cause them suffering and prevent any peaceful settlement."
Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said that the General Assembly vote represents a "unilateral decision that undermines negotiations. "The UN decision follows the ongoing political statement and proves that Israel must control the peace process and not take hits we have no control over."
"Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to ask himself and his partner Lieberman how such embarrassment was caused to Israel on their watch." She called on Israelis to refrain from fanning the flames so as not to elevate the Palestinians' achievement.
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