The Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee convened Monday in the aftermath of the violent 'Nakba Day' events that took place on the preceding day to discuss a Palestinian declaration of statehood planned for September.
Professor Gabriela Shalev, Israel's former UN ambassador, said the state's current status at the United Nations is "at a record-breaking low".
"This low began with Operation Cast Lead, and its end is anyone's guess," Shalev said, adding that the declaration of statehood was not the Palestinians' aim but rather "a means to Israel's final demise in the eyes of the world".
The debate was launched by a number of professors who explained their views on recent regional developments. "Israel must be more active in the political arena as an initiator, rather than observing and saying, 'All of these developments prove what we've been saying all along'," Tel Aviv University's Prof. Shimon Shamir said.
Dr. Dan Shiftan, of Haifa University, rejected hopes of reaching an accord with the Palestinians due to impassable disagreements, the Hamas-Fatah truce deal, and the current US administration.
He suggested withdrawing from areas in the West Bank which Israel plans to relinquish in any future deal in order to "buy time in the international arena".
Among those participating in the debate are former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, former head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Major General Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, and former Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Uzi Dayan.
The declaration is scheduled to be made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly in September. Many Israeli officials fear it will further exacerbate tension in the West Bank, but others say it will likely have little effect on the ground.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook