At N.Y. rally, Palestinians urged to sit down with Israel


NEW YORK (JTA) — U.S. Congress members were among the speakers at a rally in front of the United Nations urging the Palestinians to return to bilateral negotiations with Israel.

Dozens of government and religious leaders came out Monday in a bid to push the Palestinians to find a two-state solution through talks. They spoke of the consequences that might accompany a Palestinian state that comes through a unilateral declaration.

Speakers also warned that such a vote in the United Nations Security Council could result in instability and damage to the region.

“The Palestinians’ unilateral bid for statehood through the United Nations is a harmful distraction from achieving true peace and stability between Israel and Palestine,” said U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). “The only credible path for a two-state solution is through the negotiating table. The United States has made clear to the Palestinians and to others around the world that we stand with our ally Israel at this time of grave risk and insecurity.”

Others in attendance included Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Bob Turner (R-N.Y.), New  York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Rabbi Steve Gutow, the president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

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