European Jewish Congress lobbies against unilateral Palestinian state


(JTA) — The European Jewish Congress has contacted leaders on the continent in a bid to prevent recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state in the United Nations.

Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, wrote a letter to all European heads of state, foreign affairs ministers and EU leaders explaining the problems with recognizing a Palestinian state when the issue comes before the United Nations in September.

The unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state "will not bring a solution to the existing conflict or create peace in the Middle East,” Kantor wrote. “On the contrary, it will add new layers to the unresolved and complex legal and political issues. Without a negotiated solution, the chances of even greater violence in the region will be higher, especially at this time of flux for the Middle East.”

Kantor also wrote that recognizing a Palestinian state outside of negotiations “stands in opposition to the principles of the Quartet” and “undermine existing bilateral agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

The June 10 letter also pointed out that Hamas, which has reconciled with Fatah and is part of the Palestinian government, still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and for the annihilation of Jews.

Kantor and the European Jewish Congress leadership also are meeting with European leaders, members of the European Parliament and European decision-makers and opinion shapers. In addition, the group has called on European Jews to lobby their elected representatives against the Palestinians’ bid for recognition.

“The Palestinians take parts of Europe for granted and they know regardless of how firmly they shut the door on negotiations, incite to violence, negate Israel’s national character and partner with terrorist organizations, some in Europe will continue to support them to the hilt,” Kantor said. “For a true resolution to this conflict, Europe has to tell the Palestinians firmly that they will only gain their aspirations at the negotiating table and nowhere else.”

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