JCPA Prepares Community and National Response to Unilateral Palestinian Statehood
Regrets Palestinian Decision to Stay Away From Peace Talks
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) expressed regret today at the Palestinian leadership's decision to pursue United Nations recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, commonly referred to as unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).
"We support the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security, Israel, as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine for the Palestinians," said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. "We firmly believe, as does President Obama and important segments of the international community, that this vision can only be realized when the parties sit down together, face-to-face, to resolve their differences. A lasting and just resolution of the conflict should not and cannot be imposed from the outside. Therefore, this Palestinian ‘end run’ around negotiations, not only contradicts previously signed agreements, it also presents a serious obstacle to advancing the peace process."
"Approximately one year ago, when resumption of direct talks was announced, we called on both sides to demonstrate resolve. We regret that the Palestinians instead chose to walk away shortly thereafter,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. "Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to call for direct negotiations without pre-conditions, and we hope, with the ongoing assistance of the United States, this can be achieved soon. UDI is not the solution, and we call on the international community to reject it."
The JCPA is partnering with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) under the aegis of the Israel Action Network (IAN) to build community and national support for a return to peace talks. Efforts are underway to reach out to foreign diplomats based in North America, as well as to mobilize organizations and individuals to sign a petition initiated by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York supporting a negotiated two state solution and opposing UDI.