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Conference of Presidents backs united Jerusalem

The Conference of Presidents reaffirmed its longstanding position that a united Jerusalem should remain the sovereign and eternal capital of Israel.

In a meeting Thursday, the conference, the principal U.S. Jewish umbrella group on foreign affairs, voted to defer discussion on another resolution that would have insisted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remove portions of the charter of his Fatah movement calling for the elimination of Israel.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the conference’s executive vice chairman, told JTA that members overwhelmingly supported a discussion on the Fatah charter resolution. But, he added, those present at the meeting voted to defer discussion until after the group’s February mission to Israel. The mission will also include a visit to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Some members of the conference have argued that both resolutions would serve to undercut the Israeli government as it participates in U.S.-convened peace talkes with the Palestinians. Others counter that the resolutions would strengthen Israel’s negotiating hand.

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