European Support for Palestinian Initiative is Damaging

November 13, 2012

ADL letter to the Financial Times on the significance of Europe's role in a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians

Letters to the Editor
Financial Times

To the Editor:

Europe has an important role to play in helping to bring about a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, European support for the misguided Palestinian initiative to upgrade its status at the UN from observer entity to “observer state” will seriously damage Europe’s ability to play that role and should not be encouraged as you did in your editorial “Palestine at the UN” (November 7).

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly and unambiguously urged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to join him at the negotiating table at any time and place and without preconditions.What is Mr Abbas’s response? Going it alone and pursuing the chimera of changed status at the UN.

This UN ploy by the Palestinians will severely set back the goal of a negotiated end to the conflict. Time and again the Palestinians have opted to evade their obligations to negotiate with Israel and to expend their political capital on public relations stunts at the UN and elsewhere.

Through the Quartet, Europe and the international community have made clear to the Palestinians that only through hunkering down and committing to bilateral negotiations without preconditions will the Palestinians achieve their aspirations.

Europe should strongly oppose this dangerous move.

Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League, New York, NY, US