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December 14, 2017 11:33 am

Jewish Leaders: Abbas’ Istanbul Speech a Rejection of Peace, Insult to Judaism

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Kayhan Ozer / Pool. – Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Wednesday criticized Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s conference in Istanbul earlier that day, calling it an “outright rejection” of achieving peace with Israel.

The Jewish leaders described Abbas’s speech as the PA president’s latest attack on Judaism’s 3,500-year-connection with Jerusalem.

“President Abbas has consistently openly promoted the denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem,” Conference of Presidents Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a joint statement.

“His threat to go to the United Nations to undo the US measure…and to gain recognition of the State of Palestine is the death knell for negotiations…[Abbas’s speech] is also the latest attack on foundational beliefs of the Jewish faith and historical truth,” they said.

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At Wednesday’s Istanbul conference, Abbas stated that the Palestinians would refuse any future US involvement in the peace process and threatened that there will be “no peace or stability” in the region until Jerusalem is recognized as the Palestinian capital. He also said the PA would push for full membership in the UN.

“Abbas deliberately…ignored the fact that President Trump’s statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not define boundaries or borders…Abbas then went on to cast the move as an attack on Islam,” said the Conference of Presidents leaders. “It is up to responsible leaders in the region and around the world to prevent President Abbas from proceeding toward a dangerous dead end.”

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