Statement by Conference of Presidents Leaders on President Obama's UN Address
New York, September 21, 2011
Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, commended President Obama on his important speech at the UN General Assembly.
The Conference leaders said, We welcome President Barack Obamas call in todays address, in the opening session of the UN General Assembly, for direct negotiations between the parties to the Middle East Conflict and his rejection of solutions imposed by outside parties, unilateral moves, or one sided declarations at the UN.
The President correctly and clearly identified Israels security needs and challenges. He again affirmed that Americas commitment to Israels security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.
In this context, the President addressed those, including Israels neighbors, who seek to deny Israels legitimacy. The President said that the Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland, and that Israel deserves recognition. We specially note this formulation not only because it reaffirmed a historic truth but also because many in the hall he was addressing have sought to deny Israels ancient and constant connection to the land and others have refuse to recognize it as the Jewish State.
The President noted Americas long term commitment to resolving the conflict and said that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades.
In a clear reference to the ongoing incitement in the Palestinian Authority and in Arab and Muslim countries, the President said, Israels children come of age knowing that throughout the region other children are taught to hate them. In a comment directed at Irans threats against Israel, the President said, Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.
We hope that other leaders will listen to President Obamas words and heed his warnings. We hope that they too will take into account Israels legitimate security needs and will help foster the normal relations with Israel that the President called for.
Most of all, we hope that the automatic majority against Israel at the UN will come to consider the danger to that institution and to the cause of peace that results from a blanket acceptance of anti-Israel measures no matter how unjustified they may be.
Israeli leaders have repeatedly sought meaningful negotiations and have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to achieving peace. Prime Minister Netanyahu has on many occasions affirmed his commitment to a two state solution.
We hope that Palestinian President Abbas will pay close attention to President Obamas message, accept the Prime Ministers offer for unconditional negotiations, and prove his commitment to peace in his speech on Friday, said Stone and Hoenlein.