ADL Calls On Honduras to Clarify Position on Palestinian Statehood; Urges Central American States to Support Direct Negotiations

New York, NY, August 5, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Honduras to clarify its position regarding a possible Palestinian bid to seek recognition of a unilaterally declared state at the United Nations, after the Central American republic apparently reversed its stance on the issue.

Honduras previously expressed support for a negotiated settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis, indicating it would take a formal position on possible Palestinian efforts at the UN at an upcoming meeting of SICA, the Central American Integration System. However, according to reports, a recent statement appearing on the official Web site of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said the country would support the Palestinian effort for statehood at the UN.

"We strongly urge the government of Honduras and all of the member states of SICA to oppose any recognition of an independent Palestinian state that is not the result of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It is critically important for the international community to support the creation of a Palestinian state which is established in a spirit of peace and reconciliation. This can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties."

ADL also encouraged the governments of other SICA states – including Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua – to affirm support for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis. Reports indicated those member states might support Palestinian statehood at the UN.

In letters to the foreign ministries of the aforementioned nations, ADL reiterated that, "Unilateral steps by the Palestinians which seek to circumvent this process are counterproductive and the international community has a responsibility to discourage such maneuvers."

The League shared similar concerns with Panamá, a SICA member, but noted that the country has demonstrated ongoing support for the Jewish state, and understands the importance of bilateral peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.