Conference of Presidents Statement on Middle East Negotiations: Abbas' Repeated Threats to Quit Talks Disturbing
New York, September 13, 2010
Alan Solow, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following statement about the Middle East peace negotiations today:
We wish the parties success at the talks this week in Sharm El Sheikh and hope that they can continue to move forward toward meaningful direct negotiations. We are deeply concerned by the repeated threats by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to leave the talks, which he made even before the talks began. In the last week, President Abbas threatened to leave the talks if he is asked to address the right of return, concessions on borders, recognize Israel as a Jewish state, or if the settlement freeze is not extended. He even said that he will not make any concessions. This is not the way to create an atmosphere conducive to successful talks or that will give the people of Israel a sense of confidence that President Abbas is truly ready for serious negotiations that will lead to an end of the conflict.
We are also concerned about the increasing attacks from Gaza, including several barrages over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, which hit populated areas. These attacks must be met with the strongest reaction from the international community. In particular, those who continue to provide arms, especially Iran and Syria, must be held to account. The many arms caches found in the recent days by Egyptian forces in the Sinai underscores this urgency, said Solow and Hoenlein.