J Street slams Abbas’ ‘divisive, inflammatory’ speech on Jerusalem


(JTA) — J Street, the dovish lobby group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, condemned remarks by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, who said Ramallah may pull out of efforts to reach a settlement.

Abbas made the threat in a speech Tuesday at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, where he also said the United States can no longer mediate peace talks because of President Donald Trump’s declaration on Dec. 6 that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The United States can and must play a vital and productive role in facilitating negotiations toward a comprehensive two-state solution,” read the statement by J Street, in which the organization said it “rejects” Abbas’ threat, which is called in a statement “divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.”

While routine for centrist and right-wing organizations supportive of Israel, J Street’s strong-worded rebuke is unusual for that organization.

The “harmful” actions of President Trump, the statement continued, “can be overturned by future administrations and leaders who understand the value of serious diplomacy and the urgent necessity of resolving this conflict.”

In his speech in Istanbul, Abbas made no acknowledgement of Jerusalem’s significance for Jews and Israel. “Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state,” Abbas told delegates. “We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on, because it is completely biased towards Israel.”

He added: “We will tell the Israelis that we are no longer committed to any agreement from Oslo until today,” Ramallah intended to return to the United Nations to circumvent negotiations and gain full membership, he also said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)