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Press Release

ADL Urges European Foreign Ministers to Oppose Palestinian Initiative at the U.N.

New York, NY, November 6, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on European foreign ministers to oppose a Palestinian campaign to receive an upgraded status of “observer state” at the United Nations and to urge the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.

The policy of the European Union has consistently called for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as a platform toward a resolution of the conflict as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We share the belief that peace can best be achieved through bilateral, direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on all final status issues,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Recognition of Palestinian statehood by the U.N. General Assembly will create numerous and serious obstacles to a resumption of bilateral negotiations.  This campaign has the potential to increase the chances of an outbreak of violence, harming the Palestinians themselves, the economic gains they have made, and further eroding Israeli confidence that they have a partner for negotiations.”

In a letter to foreign ministers, ADL expressed the significance of their role in conveying to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the only diplomatic move worthy of international support is a return to negotiations with Israel.

ADL’s letter noted that legal scholars have also cited harm that would be done to international law on state recognition and that Palestinian membership initiatives can potentially have serious negative consequences for international organizations themselves.

ADL also praised the role of the United States and Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for their efforts to ensure that the Palestinian campaign for observer state status at the U.N. does not proceed.

“The Palestinian people would have their expectations raised and then disappointed following their realization that the change in status affects only the Palestinians at their Permanent Missions to the U.N. and not Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” Mr. Foxman wrote.  “We look to you to send the right message to President Abbas at this critical moment and to use your influence within and beyond the European Union to amplify it.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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