|By PR Newswire||
|April 1, 2014 07:46 PM EDT||
NEW YORK, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC denounced Palestinian Authority President Abbas's announcement that he will seek membership for Palestine in another 15 international organizations.
"If the Palestinian leadership wants to keep a two-state prospect viable, internationalizing the conflict at this sensitive moment is totally counter-productive," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "The only path to sustainable peace is direct negotiations."
Palestine became a member of UNESCO soon after the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer in 2012. However, in agreeing to resume direct bilateral peace talks with Israel last summer, Abbas also committed to not pursue membership in other UN bodies.
"Abbas's latest ploy endangers the peace process, and is a slap in the face of Secretary of State Kerry, who has worked tirelessly with both Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace," Harris said.
Kerry was set to meet with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, after meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem this week. Whether the meeting will take place after Abbas's declaration is uncertain.
"So many opportunities for peace over decades were lost because of so many Palestinian 'no's'," said Harris. "Isn't it high time for a Palestinian 'yes' and stay the course to the end in achieving with Israel a two-state settlement?"
SOURCE American Jewish Committee