ADL Condemns Abbas Plan to Sidestep Negotiations with Israel

New York, NY, September 22, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations in which he laid out a plan to sidestep direct negotiations with Israel and appealed to the international community to enable Palestinian aspirations.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

The only path to an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Speaking at the United Nations, Mahmoud Abbas sidestepped this necessary path and instead appealed directly to the international community.  Instead of agreeing to work directly with Israel to make peace, Mr. Abbas falsely cast Israel as an impediment to peace.

In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech, specifically offered to meet with President Abbas, address the Palestinian legislature and negotiate final status issues, include settlements. Prime Minister Netanyahu, while decrying the honoring of terrorists in Palestinian society, also specifically condemned terrorism by Israelis, including the heinous attack in Duma.

Mr. Abbas has again egregiously rejected the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. His suggestion that Great Britain used the Balfour Declaration to give mandate Palestine to ‘other peoples’ raises serious questions about his willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a vital step needed to achieve a two-state solution. While his condemnation of the Holocaust was notable, he followed this remark with a call for Israel to recognize the Nakba. He condemned terrorism, but was not specific about Palestinian terrorism.

Before Mr. Abbas returns to the U.N., the international community should tell him that instead of looking to world capitals, he should focus on ending incitement at home and acknowledge that the only viable route to alleviating the conflict is through compromises at the negotiating table with Israel.