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by Betty Ehrenberg for WJC


New York, November 29, 2012 – The World Jewish Congress today denounced the vote taken by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to grant the Palestinians status as a non-member observer state. It is most ironic that this date, November 29th, was chosen for this egregious mistake on the part of the UN. On this same day, in 1947, the UN approved the partition plan, granting the Jewish people and the Arabs each a state. The results are well known- the Jewish people accepted it, and the Arabs did not, electing instead to go to war.


Ronald S. Lauder, President, World Jewish Congress, said, “Today’s vote in  the United Nations does nothing to lead to a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East, between the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. Instead, it undermines this much-desired goal by contradicting its own  UN resolutions, those that mandate resolving this conflict through direct negotiations between the parties. The designation of a Palestinian non-member observer state creates an illusion that will ultimately deeply disappoint the Palestinian people by raising unrealistic expectations.”


“The UNGA cannot declare an entity a state, nor can it solve the issues between the parties- it cannot substitute for a directly negotiated peace agreement. Although the Palestinian leaders’ rhetoric today contains talk of peace, the unending barrage of missile attacks on Israeli civilians, the terrorist attacks perpetrated on Israeli cities, the refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and the refusal to return to the negotiating table belie those words.  Today’s move violates the peace agreements achieved so far, offering discouragement, not hope.”


“The United Nations today has shamefully lent its voice to a lie and has set the stage for continuing the conflict, rather than for its resolution, creating a setback in the search for a true and lasting peace in the Middle East. This cynical move by the UNGA enables the UN to be exploited to serve the political ends of the Palestinian leadership who seek to blame Israel for all the ills in the region, rather than creating the much needed stability their people deserve.”


“We call upon PA Chairman Abbas to accept the repeated invitation of the Israeli government to return to the peace table, if he is truly interested in peace.”


“The World Jewish Congress reiterates its deep disappointment in those countries that supported this destructive move, and those who stood by silently when their voices should have been raised in protest. They must now insist that Abbas return immediately to peace negotiations with Israel, if peace is, in fact, their goal.”


“We express our deepest gratitude to those countries who stood with Israel and with peace- the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. ” said Lauder.