The Anti-Defamation League strongly criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's speech at the UN General Assembly, calling his remarks “the latest and most blatant public repudiation of peace and reconciliation with Israel.”
ADL National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt issued a strong condemnation on Thursday of Abbas's UN speech, in which Palestinian leadership threatened to stop abiding by the Oslo Accords, which have governed the relations between Israel and the Palestinians for more than two decades.
"President Abbas stood before the world at the UN podium and delivered the latest and most blatant public repudiation of peace and reconciliation with Israel," said Greenblatt. "In a speech rife with outright lies and incitement about shared holy sites in Jerusalem, historical half-truths on the conflict, and a pro forma litany of grievances and accusations, Abbas dramatically announced the end of negotiations, reconciliation and peace with Israel, while, at the same time demanding international action to bring about Palestinian statehood."
Greenblatt also denounced Abbas's supposed plan towards reaching an agreement with Israel, in which he called "long on complaints and short on practical steps."
"Abbas once again showed the international community that the Palestinians remain rooted to a strategy of symbolism, obfuscation and excuses which will do little to bring benefits to average Palestinians or bring closer their goal of statehood."
Greenblatt added that while the Palestinians received international support for their flag-raising initiative
, the international community has done little to further negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
"Instead of applauding fiery speeches and encouraging symbolic flag-raisings and recognitions, the international community should clearly convey to Mr. Abbas and other Palestinian leadership that denial of the Jewish connection to the holy sites in Jerusalem is anti-Semitic and must stop, and that only through direct, difficult, serious and sustained bilateral negotiations with the Jewish State of Israel will Palestinian aspirations be recognized."
The Palestinian president delivered his speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, in which he accused Israel of "destroying the foundations upon which the political and security agreements are based."
“We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue.... as long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, it leaves us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements.”
Although he directly referred to the Oslo Accords, he stopped short of stating that they had been annulled, and instead relied on watered-down language that tempered the impact.
Senior Palestinian officials have said that Abbas changed the text from concrete action to a threat under pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Palestinian leader also did not clearly announce the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority or the canceling of security cooperation with Israel, as some speculated he would. Nor did he resign.
Abbas warned that either the PA would be a transitional power moving toward independent statehood, or Israel must take full control of the Palestinian people as an occupying power.Danielle Ziri and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.