1. Mr. Mißfelder, as far as we can foresee, the Palestinian leaders will approach the UN General Assembly for statehood recognition in mid September. How do you evaluate the chance of success for this bid?
According to the UN-Charta, only a peace-loving state can become a member of the United Nations Organization. I don’t see this condition being met, with the radical Islamic party Hamas in the government. A bid for full membership will most likely be denied by the Security Council, as a veto from the USA can be expected. But as matters stand, we can expect that a resolution will be approved by the General Assembly.
2. What is your position towards the projected undertaking of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas?
Principally, I support a 2-state-solution, but it has to be the result of a peace process in the Middle East. Therefore, I object to a unilateral proclamation of a “Palestinian State”. From Germany I expect a negative vote on the question of whether a Palestinian state should be accepted as a full member in the United Nations Organization both in the Security Council and, in the event of a political referendum, in the General Assembly.
3. In your opinion, why exactly is a unilateral proclamation of a Palestinian state by PA and Hamas the wrong approach?
A unilateral proclamation cannot resolve the points of contention between Israel and the Palestinians. Only negotiations can do so. It is even to be feared that this act will exacerbate the conflict, if the results of this move fall short of the Palestinian expectations. Also, it is expected that the Israelis will harden their position if the resolution should be approved.
4. The majority of EU-states seem to take a different stand. France, Great Britain, Spain and Italy are moving towards the recognition of Palestine.
This can be seen as an attempt to put pressure on Israel in order to force the government to reassume negotiations. In my mind, this is the wrong approach. Chancellor Merkel has declared that she is against a “yes” at an early stage and therewith signalized that we regard the Palestinian way as an impasse. Overall, it would be desirable if all European states agreed on a common position.
5. How realistic is the prospect of Israelis and Palestinians returning to the negotiating table, instead of a unilateral proclamation?
Israel has repeatedly signalized its readiness to resume negotiations. Also President Abbas would be willing to compromise. The problem here is that the Hamas is obstructing any progress in the peace process . As long as Israel’s right to exist is not being recognized from the Palestinian side, no talks will take place. The security of the Israeli people is not negotiable. Our government has emphasized this stand and this is also my settled conviction.
Philipp Mißfelder, born in 1979 in Gelsenkirchen, graduated in History and wrote his Master thesis about the Jewish publicist Maximilian Harden. In 2002, he was elected as Federal Chairman of Junge Union, the joint youth organization of the conservative German political parties CDU and CSU. He is member of the German Parliament (Bundestag), member of the CDU presidential board and elected Spokesman for Foreign Affairs of his fraction.