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September 25, 2012 10:03 am

U.S. Jewish Leaders Cancel Meeting with Palestinian Authority Leader Abbas

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: wiki commons.

A scheduled meeting between the president of the Palestinian Authority and American-Jewish leaders in New York yesterday was canceled after the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped in to voice its displeasure, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv.

Billionaire businessman Mort Zuckerman, a former leader of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, organized the meeting, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas according to the report.

Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, were also scheduled to attend the meeting arranged to coincide with Abbas’ visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Netanyahu’s office reached Zuckerman and said it was “unacceptable” to meet with the Palestinian leader when Abbas himself refused to sit down with Israeli leaders.

An unnamed member of the Jewish community in New York told Ma’ariv: “Because of the behavior of Mahmoud Abbas and his refusal to meet with the Prime Minister, it was a foregone conclusion.”

In a phone interview with The Algemeiner, Malcolm Hoenlein confirmed the report saying, “There was a meeting, but a number of the people that were to participate thought that it wasn’t appropriate and declined,” he said,  “As long as Abbas resists overtures from Israel it wasn’t appropriate,” he explained.

“We have had many meetings with people from many countries which have generally been positive, but we have never positioned ourselves as a substitutive for the government  of Israel,” he said.

Hoenlein also said that the meeting wasn’t cancelled, “we just declined to attend,” he clarified, but the meeting still took place, “not with Mort Zuckerman, with others.”

Reached on the phone by The Algemeiner, Mr. Foxman, and Liran Dan, Spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s office declined to comment on the story. Mr. Zuckerman did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

Abbas will address the General Assembly on Thursday, the same day as Netanyahu, and is expected to apply for upgraded Palestinian status at the UN.  Last year, Abbas campaigned for full-membership status at the UN but efforts joined by Washington to thwart the bid were successful. Now Abbas plans to apply for a non member observer state status.

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  • Jerry Hersch

    Is it being a patriot to have the intransigence that will lead to generations more of conflict

  • Jerry Hersch

    Bibi learned as long ago as Cheltenham High School and on its debating team that if you looked calm ..spoke what sounded resonable- you sprinkle a few buzz words and the audience would go hog wild..no matter what crap was spouted.He was apparently,even then,more concerned with swaying the masses than an argument of truthful facts. He learned well in his teens -it has carried him far..too bad he is also carrying a nation with him.
    Charismatic persuasive leaders ..are not what is needed..in an age of diplomacy. It is unfortunate that his command of English supercedes his ability to think long term.

  • Jayson Rex

    As unpleasant as truth usually is, U.S. Jewish Leaders have nothing to discuss with Abbas or any “palestinian” leader. Since the agenda of ALL Arab organization that exist in Cis-Jordan is the destruction of Israel, what good the proposed meeting will bring about?

    We all know that as long as a single Arab is left standing in Cis-Jordan there will not be peace in the region. And appeasement, promoted by European nations, especially the British, that failed miserably in the 30th with the Nazis, will not work with their past allies either, the Arab countries, ikn the 21st century.

  • Abbas is a pure Holocaust denier…no different than David Irving…read Abbas’ Phd paper: it is pure Holocaust denial…If you deal with him you are dealing with an idiot…

  • Jerry Hersch

    Ah! Zuckerman maturity..one wonders how he bridges and negotiates in business.This meeting was to have helped build a bridge when the two PM were at odds..an alternative path of communications that would or could lead to eventual peace.
    Instead Zuckerman bent to the wishes of a Politician..not God ..nor even the speaker for all Israelis..just the head of one of one of a dozen Israeli parties..and far from a spokesperson for world Jewry.. nor especially American Jewry.
    And so Zuckerman acquiesces to the Bibi God.

    • rebuznar

      Sir, you are so mistaken, that is shameful. Netanyahu,
      is a real Israeli Jewish Patriot! – wants to protect the survival of the Jewish State at all costs, and so do I.