Clinton Abbas Ramallah 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet a group of
Jewish leaders in New York on Tuesday for the second time in three months, even
though there were those among the invited guests concerned he is using these
meetings to place pressure on the Israeli government.
Some of the invited
guests said Abbas realized the importance of the Jews in the US and was trying
to “neutralize” them.
The event, like a similar one held in Washington in
June, is being organized by the S.Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East
A few participants at the last meeting said Abbas “distorted” what
was said there, and misrepresented the meeting as an indication the US Jews were
with him and did not like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. There was also a
feeling among some that at a time when Abbas was making constant threats about
walking away from the talks, this might not be the time for the Jewish community
to give him a bear hug.
But Abe Foxman, national director of the
Anti-Defamation League, said, “If the prime minister of Israel says to the world
that he has a peace partner in Abbas, then there is no reason for the American
Jewish community not to go.”
At the same time, Foxman said there was
legitimate concern by some who went to the last meeting in “good faith”
Abbas abused that parley for his own interests. “Some of us are
this won’t happen again,” he said.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice
president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations, said he had not decided whether to attend because there
number of conflicting events on that day.