CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS SAYS REPORTS OF ABBAS SEEKING UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON SETTLEMENTS CONTINUES PALESTINIAN CAMPAIGN TO EVADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH ISRAEL

April 11, 2016 New York, NY . . . Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of the Presidents Conference today issued the following statement:

 “We are deeply concerned over news reports that the Palestinian Authority is circulating a draft resolution to members of the UN Security Council calling on the Council to condemn Israeli settlement activity.  This is yet another irresponsible maneuver to evade direct negotiations with Israel.  The reports also indicated President Abbas plans to attend a session of the Security Council scheduled for the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover at which the Council would consider and vote on the resolution.

“Having been thwarted in 2011 by a U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity, President Abbas appears to be trying again.  This time adding in condemnation of alleged settler violence against Palestinians while ignoring the more than 300 separate attacks in the past six months alone by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and security forces which killed 34 and wounded more than 400 in recent months.

“That certain members of the UN Security Council would act in total disregard of both the impact on and concerns of Israel is hardly surprising.  The recent UN Human Rights Council resolution including a form of blacklist of Israeli companies working in the West Bank (and employing thousands of Palestinians) was a prelude to this latest move.  Fortunately, the U.S. and most European countries said they would not enforce the blacklist.  Other measures by UN bodies in Geneva and New York over recent weeks paint a picture of wanton discrimination, double standards and hypocrisy.  The proposed resolution follows those precedents.

“President Abbas continues to find ways to enlist the international community in his ceaseless efforts to avoid taking responsibility for leading the Palestinian people in a negotiated process to resolve the conflict with Israel.  The international community should not be a willing accomplice in this latest cynical attempt by President Abbas to circumvent direct negotiations with Israel.

“The issue of settlements and all other matters related to a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians should be, must be, left to the parties.  Solutions sought to be imposed by others cannot and will not work. 

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has once again said he is ready at any time to meet with President Abbas. It is long overdue that President Abbas live up to his obligations to the Palestinian people by providing them with a path to peace.  Instead, we see continued incitement despite his protestations to the contrary.  Murderers and terrorists who killed Jews are honored in public and they or their families are rewarded with generous monthly stipends – more, in fact, than what the Palestinian Authority pays its own police. 

“Responsible members of the international community should focus their attention and expend their energy on getting President Abbas to the negotiating table where all of the issues can be raised.”

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 54 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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