Published On: Mon, Jan 19th, 2015

President Rivlin Tells McCain, Delegation of US Senators, Abbas Should Talk to Israel, Not the Hague Court

Rivlin + McCain

President Reuven Rivlinon on Sunday evening told a senate delegation of Republicans and Democrats,  “I call upon President Abbas instead of going to The Hague or the UN, come to Jerusalem. Come and talk directly to the Israeli government and people.”

The delegation, on an official visit to Israel, was headed by Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain.

In his opening statements, the President stressed the importance of Israel’s relations with the United States. He said. “You are here during our build up to elections, when Israelis are debating many things. But beyond any discussion, above any debate, is the importance of our relationship with the United States. Your support is not just words. You have supported an upgrade in the cooperation between our countries, and helped in so many ways, including with Iron Dome – which has saved so many lives.”

On the issue of the decision by the ICC prosecutor to investigate Israel, the President said, “This is nothing less than a prize for terror. The State of Israel is committed to the highest standards of international law. Making legal accusations against Israel, while there is no demand for accountability from the Palestinians is another victory for terror. International law must be clear not only about what a state cannot do, but also about what a state should do, in order to protect its citizens from terror.”

President Rivlin called on the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table and said, “I call upon President Abbas, instead of going to The Hague or the UN, come to Jerusalem. Come and talk directly to the Israeli government and people.”

Senator McCain thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “We have come from both sides of the political spectrum, Republicans and Democrats, as supportive friends of Israel. The relationship between our countries is of great importance.”

The Senators explained to the President they had been greatly impressed on their visit, and noted the importance of their visit to Yad VaShem earlier today, especially in light of the attacks in Paris. The Senators added they were aware and greatly appreciative of the President’s many efforts to preserve the value of equality between the citizens of Israel.

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