Blum Charges Rejectionist States Frustrating Peace Negotiations

Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, charged today that the “rejectionist” Arab states are continuing their attempts to frustrate peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt that “by any standards” have achieved “breakthroughs” in the past year that “are remarkable” and “with patience the few remaining difficulties can and will be solved.”

Addressing the General Assembly’s ongoing debate on “The Situation in the Middle East,” Blum contrasted the peace process begun by Israel and Egypt with the “unending tirades of invectives” and “repetitive resolutions” aimed against Israel in the various UN bodies that, he said, “not only negates the very principle of negotiations and compromise, but constitutes an implicit acknowledgement and acceptance of the absolute refusal of the hard-line Arab states to recognize the State of Israel.”

According to the Israeli envoy, “the Middle East conflict flows from the Arab refusal to accept the existence of Israel.” That, he said, “was the core of the conflict and that is what it remains in the eyes of the ‘rejectionist’ camp.”

Reviewing the present situation, Blum said, “Israel and Egypt have reached an important stage in their peace negotiations. High level consultations, discussions and meetings are currently taking place with a view to overcoming obstacles to the first Arab-Israel peace treaty….In Cairo, Jerusalem and Washington, real issues are being addressed with earnestness and in good faith in a genuine attempt to reach agreement,” while “here at the United Nations, the stale, extremist and unproductive formulae of former years are being rehashed in a form of ritualistic incantation divorced from reality.”

ACHIEVEMENTS ARE IMPRESSIVE

Blum said that “the moment that the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt recognized the need for a new departure in the Middle East, negotiations began. There have been difficulties and snags and problems as there will inevitably be when real national interests are involved. But by any standards, the progress towards peace in the last year has been remarkable,” he said.

According to Blum, the achievements so far are especially impressive “when compared with the length of time taken to negotiate a Panama Canal treaty, or a German-Polish treaty or with the fluctuating hopes for further progress in the SALT negotiations.”

Referring to “the hysterical reaction of the hard-line Arab states to Egypt’s readiness to negotiate with Israel, “Blum said “It is not this or that provision in the Camp David accords to which the rejectionists object but to the very fact of the recognition of Israel’s existence which will be endorsed by the signing of a peace treaty….”

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