New York, NY, September 21, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Barack Obama's clear presentation to world leaders at the United Nations of the reality of Israel's concerns over its security after decades of wars and terror attacks, unremitting incitement of hatred against Israel and Israelis, threats to eliminate Israel and the ongoing denial that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people.
The President's strong reaffirmation that Israeli-Palestinian peace will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not as a result of "statements and resolutions at the U.N.," is the only basis on which the conflict can be resolved.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We applaud President Obama's direct and urgent call on the Palestinians to cease their unilateral campaign at the United Nations, and to re-engage in meaningful negotiation with Israel to reach a two-state solution. It was especially important for world leaders to hear the President firmly state that the facts of Israel's essential concerns "cannot be denied," and his call on the Palestinians and others to accept that "[T]he Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland."
The President's message was soberly realistic, clearly reiterating that the Palestinians deserve a state coupled with his repeated assertions that "peace is hard," there is "no shortcut to the end of the conflict," and "[P]eace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N." President Obama's speech makes it quite clear that the Palestinian leadership holds the key to achieving an independent Palestinian state and that pursuing unilateral measures will only result in the further delay of reaching that goal. The President reiterated in the clearest terms possible America's commitment to Israel's security and pointed to the daily threats faced by the Israeli people.
We hope Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will heed the President's strong message, and use his General Assembly platform on Friday to end their pursuit of short-sighted and futile unilateral steps and resolutions, recommit to direct negotiations with Israel and accept Prime Minister Netanyahu's unconditional offer to immediately resume negotiations.