FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marshall Wittmann, [email protected]
November 29, 2012
AIPAC STATEMENT ON U.N. VOTE
Abbas has irresponsibly chosen posturing over peace
The United Nations General Assembly recklessly set back the chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians today when it granted non-member observer state status to the Palestine Liberation Organization. In requesting this action, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is effectively turning his back on talks with Israel and destroying his credibility as someone genuinely interested in a serious peace process. Instead, Abbas has reinforced the message he sent in a May 2011 New York Times op-ed that he intends to widen the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by pursuing claims against Israel before international bodies that can neither bring peace nor well-being to his people.
Chairman Abbas has violated a basic principle of the Oslo Accords -- which specify negotiations with Israel as the exclusive path to Palestinian statehood. His actions also constitute a direct rebuff to the United States and President Obama’s personal request to return to direct negotiations and forego the distractions offered by the U.N. Abbas also victimizes the Palestinian people by making their achievement of statehood, peace and prosperity much more difficult.
Congress has frequently warned the PLO that there would be consequences for its relationship with the United States if the PLO refuses to demonstrate its commitment to peace with Israel. Congress has specifically linked continued aid and the operation of the PLO office in Washington to the Palestinians not seeking statehood status at the United Nations. AIPAC applauds this congressional leadership and urges a full review of America’s relations with the PLO, including closure of the PLO’s office in Washington.
AIPAC supports peace between Israel and the Palestinians. A genuine resolution of their differences can only be achieved through direct negotiations without preconditions. That is what was agreed upon at Oslo by the Palestinians and Israelis with the strong support of the United States. Unfortunately, PLO Chairman Abbas has irresponsibly chosen posturing over peace.
Consistently ranked as the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, AIPAC is a bipartisan American membership organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. For more than 50 years, AIPAC has been working with Congress to build a strong, vibrant relationship between the U.S. and Israel. With more than 100,000 members across the United States, AIPAC works throughout the country to improve and strengthen that relationship by supporting U.S.-Israel military, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.