Conference of Presidents Leaders Call Abbas Speech at OIC Summit in Istanbul a Rejection of Peace With Israel and Denial of the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem the Latest Insult to Judaism

New York, N.Y. . . Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations today sharply criticized the speech delivered by the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, saying that President Abbas made clear his outright rejection of achieving peace through negotiations with Israel.  The leaders also called the speech the latest assault in a long history of Palestinian denial of the 3,500-year Jewish connection to Jerusalem. 

Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, said, “President Abbas has consistently openly promoted the denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem to his own people, in the UN and its agencies and bodies, and in international legal fora.  His threat to go to the United Nations to undo the U.S. measure – which it cannot do – and to gain recognition of the State of Palestine is the death knell for negotiations, not President Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.  His speech today at the OIC summit in Istanbul is also the latest attack on foundational beliefs of the Jewish faith and historical truth. 

President Abbas deliberately distorted the action taken by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, ignored the fact that President Trump’s statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not define boundaries or borders, and that the U.S. would support whatever the parties agree to.  President Abbas then went on to cast the move as an attack on Islam.  

Doubling down on his vow to withdraw from any efforts to negotiate with Israel to end the conflict, President Abbas presented his own contemporary version of the 1967 Khartoum Conference ‘3 No’s’ – no to recognizing a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, no to negotiations with Israel, and no to peace.  Even the Arab League has completely abandoned that discredited approach and replaced it with the Arab Peace Initiative.

There is no path to resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians other than a negotiated agreement.  President Abbas has been telling the international community for years, in words and deeds, he won’t negotiate.  Had he accepted any of the numerous offers over the past years, had he negotiated in good faith, this and all other issues could have been resolved. 

Once again today, President Abbas’ refusal to negotiate was unmistakably clear.  It is up to responsible leaders in the region and around the world to prevent President Abbas from proceeding toward a dangerous dead end." 


The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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