J Street Response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Address to the UN General Assembly

September 27, 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech before the United Nations General Assembly today highlighted the urgency of reaching a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President Abbas’ remarks acknowledged that the conflict will only be resolved through a two-state agreement reached through diplomacy. Though he pledged, as expected, to return soon to the General Assembly to request enhanced status at the UN, we believe he shares the view that, in the end, such resolutions will not resolve the outstanding issues between the parties.

While President Abbas made a clear case for the gravity of the situation on the ground, his rhetoric was, at times, inflammatory. Calling for the renewal of diplomacy while using polarizing terms such as “colonial,” “racist” and “ethnic cleansing” is counterproductive.

After the American presidential election and before the Palestinians return to the General Assembly, there will be an important window of opportunity for American leadership to shepherd the parties toward a final status agreement.

J Street urges that that window be seized. Time is in fact running out.