In Wake Of ‘Disappointing’ U.N. Vote, ADL Says Onus Is On Palestinians To Return To Negotiations Immediately

New York, NY, November 29, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed extreme disappointment with the outcome of a vote at the United Nations approving an upgrade of the Palestinian delegation’s status, saying the onus is now on the Palestinians to return to negotiations “immediately and without preconditions.”

The General Assembly approved an upgrade of the Palestinian delegation from observer “entity” to “non-member state” observer with a vote of 138 in favor, 9 opposed and 41 abstentions. Voting against the resolution were the United States, Israel, Czech Republic, Canada, Panama, Marshall Island, Micronesia, Palau and Nauru.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

With this resolution, the General Assembly has handed the Palestinian leadership a pyrrhic public relations victory, which in all likelihood will make it even more difficult to move the process forward. The result of the vote is no surprise -- the General Assembly has always given a rubber stamp to Palestinian declarations and grandstanding. Adding insult to injury, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in his remarks reiterated some of his more outrageous charges against Israel. Included were lies and distortions accusing Israel of aggression in the recent conflict with Gaza, of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonialism and racism. His were not the words of a statesman seeking peace.

In the long term this resolution will have potentially disastrous consequences for future Palestinian aspirations. It brings the Palestinian people no closer to statehood, nor does it bring Israel closer to peace and security. And it demonstrates to the majority of Israelis who support a negotiated peace agreement that the Palestinian Authority has no interest in negotiations, reconciliation, or peace.

Although we continue to believe that this resolution was a bad idea, now that it’s done, something can be salvaged from this debacle if the Palestinians live up to the statements by Mr. Abbas that if this resolution is passed, he will return to the negotiating table with Israel. This is not a time for ifs, ands or buts. He must return to the table without preconditions and without delay. Otherwise, this event will simply be seen as one more attempt to avoid peace with the Jewish state.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.