The World Jewish Congress (WJC), the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries, urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider his announcement at the UN today that the PA feels not bound any longer by the 1994 Oslo Peace Accords and criticized his remarks as a “setback for the peace process.”
WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, who met with Abbas earlier this month in Amman, urged the Palestinian leader to remain focused on the most optimistic aspect of his remarks today, where he said his “hands remain outstreched” for peace.
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“I beseech President Abbas not to give up on the peace process, but instead to redouble his efforts to work for a lasting, peaceful solution for future generations of Palestinians and Israelis, ” Lauder said.
“There won’t be any peace deal that is not based on the Oslo Accords and not negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians. However imperfect, Oslo forms the basis of future negotiations, and they must remain in place. To believe in a ‘third way’, in peace being imposed by the outside, will not work, nor is it in the interests of either the Palestinians or the Israelis. Pursuing such an approach will only sow the seeds for more strife in the future.
“The Israeli government has said it is willing to sit down with Abbas without preconditions. He should take them by their word. Instead of engaging in inflammatory rhetoric that will please the more extremist crowd back home, and whatever his frustrations, President Abbas ought to show strong leadership now and move the peace process forward, not backward, ” said the WJC president.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Abbas said the PA would begin curtailing civil, economic and security cooperation with Israel. Abbas blamed Israel for destroying the peace process, while Israel has long called on Abbas to re-engage in peace talks.